First he had to get his teeth fixed, then the courthouse nearly burnt down.
A random assortment of hold ups have dragged out the sentencing of rapper Lil Wayne, after he pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges of felony gun possession and agreed to spend a year in prison.
In mid February, the 27-year-old New Orleans native was allowed by a judge to go to Miami for an 8-hour root canal surgery on his bejeweled jaw. This past Tuesday, he was scheduled yet again to appear before a judge in New York City to be sentenced, but this time a fire stood in the way of Wayne’s prison time.
But the fire had nothing to do with Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter.
New York City authorities said that part of a sprinkler system in the basement of a 17-story Manhattan courthouse was illegally disconnected. The lack of a working sprinkler system led to the fire growing to the point where the entire courthouse had to be shut down, according to the New York Times.
An electrical problem within temporary construction lighting in the basement of the large courthouse at 100 Centre Street caused the fire, according to the New York Fire Department. Smoke and soot filtered through the main lobbies in the building, and led to numerous cases being continued or moved to other nearby courtrooms, the New York Daily News reported.
Eight people, including five firefighters, were injured as a result of the fire, according to the Daily News.
Wayne’s sentencing was one of the continued cases.
“I would imagine he’s annoyed,” Stacey Richman, Wayne’s lawyer, said about the recent delay in the sentencing. “He wants to take care of his responsibilities.”
The rapper was originally scheduled to have started serving the year-long sentence at the Rikers Island prison in New York City.
In July 2007, police officers raided Wayne’s tour bus after a New York show when they reportedly caught Wayne and a crew member smoking marijuana in front of the bus. The raid yielded a .40 caliber semi-automatic gun on the bus as well as about three ounces of marijuana, according to the Daily News.
But the specter of a year-long prison sentence did not deter Wayne from performing.
Wayne appeared later in the evening after the courthouse fire onstage with rapper and mogul Jay-Z at his New York City Concert. Between court dates, Wayne also appeared on the new recording of the classic charity anthem “We Are the World” to raise funds and awareness for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Wayne is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on March 8.