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Monday, 23 April, 2001, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Eminem enters no contest plea
Eminem leaving the Oakland County Court
Eminem leaving the Oakland County Court
Rapper Eminem has entered a no contest plea to two weapons charges, less than two weeks after he was sentenced to two years probation on a separate charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

The performer was charged with carrying a concealed weapon - which can carry a five year jail term - and brandishing a weapon during an argument with the road manager for a rival act, Insane Clown Posse.

The incident took place outside an audio equipment store in Royal Oak, Michigan in June 2000.

Sentencing was scheduled for 5 June, and prosecutors said they would press for a jail sentence for Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III.

"He pulled out a gun in broad daylight in a public parking lot. If anybody had a firearm in that parking lot, you would have had a shootout in a public place," assistant prosecutor Mark Bilkovic said.

Eminem
Eminem was sentenced to two years probation earlier this month
Under American law, a no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but it is treated as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris said she was no longer considering a jail term, but said that could change after she reviews the case.

Eminem's lawyers are hoping for probation.

Three witnesses said Eminem pulled a firearm in a public car park.

But Mr Bilkovic said Eminem did not point the weapon at anybody.

He added that Eminem owned the firearm legally, but did not have a permit to conceal the weapon and carry it in public.

Probation

Eminem's lawyer Wally Piszczatowski said that his client was anxious to get the case behind him and to go back to making music and staying at home with his daughter.


The judge is treating Mathers like she would treat any other defendant that appears before her

Wally Piszczatowski, Eminem's lawyer
Piszczatowski said that the defence was "'very pleased" with the way Judge Morris had handled the case.

"She is treating Mathers like she would treat any other defendant that appears before her," Piszczatowski told reporters after the hearing.

Eminem, whose Marshall Mathers LP is the fastest-selling solo album ever in the United States, won three Grammy Awards in February.

On 10 April to he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in Macomb County, also in Michigan, and received two years probation.

In return for the plea, prosecutors dropped an assault charge in which Eminem was accused of pistol-whipping a man seen kissing his wife, Kimberly Mathers, outside a nightclub in June 2000.

But one probation condition could affect his career. While he is allowed to move freely around the United States for work purposes, he cannot go abroad without seeking permission from the court.

He is due to play festival dates in Reading, Glasgow and Leeds in August.

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See also:

23 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem leads Reading line-up
23 Apr 01 | Scotland
Eminem tops Glasgow bill
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