By BILL RANKIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/03/08
Atlanta rapper T.I. must wait another six weeks before trying to convince a judge to throw out key evidence obtained against him in October when he was arrested on federal firearms charges.
U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman postponed a suppression hearing, initially scheduled for Thursday, until Feb. 19. T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., was arrested Oct. 13, just hours before the BET Hip-Hop Awards ceremony in Atlanta for allegedly trying to buy machine guns and silencers in a Midtown parking lot.
In November, Harris' legal team filed court motions contending the search of Harris' vehicle on the afternoon of his arrest was illegal because it was conducted without "a warrant, consent or probable cause." As a result, "all evidence obtained in the searches and all statements as well as fruits thereof must be suppressed," the motion said.
If Harris' lawyers prevail in this motion, a large part of the government's case will be gutted.
Harris, who has pleaded not guilty, was released pending trial on a $3 million bond, under strict conditions that include home confinement.