NEW YORK (AP) — Lil Wayne’s already delayed jail term in a gun case abruptly got put off again Tuesday because of a fire in the courthouse where he was due to be sentenced.
The midmorning blaze shut down a Lower Manhattan court for the day, postponing the rap star’s court date among other proceedings, courts spokesman David Bookstaver said.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the sentencing — already put off two weeks because Lil Wayne needed dental surgery — would be rescheduled. Defense lawyer Stacey Richman said the rapper was en route to New York for his 2:15 p.m. hearing when she learned of the court closing.
Having braced to start his time behind bars, he wasn’t pleased to hear about the postponement, she said.
“Once you make up your mind to do something, you want to do it,” she said.
The Grammy Award-winning rapper had been expected to get a yearlong jail term after pleading guilty in October to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He admitted having a loaded gun on his tour bus when it was stopped in Manhattan in July 2007.
Lil Wayne, 27, was initially due to be sentenced and start his term last month, but the date was pushed back so he could have surgery on his gemstone-encrusted teeth.
He had bid a drawn-out adieu to friends and fellow artists, including a Rolling Stone cover story last month and a video blitz this past weekend. He said in a video clip sent Monday to MTV News that he shot footage for seven music videos with various artists in one night over the weekend.
Born Dwayne Carter, he has been a rapper since his teens and one of the genre’s most prolific, ubiquitous and profitable figures in recent years. His “Tha Carter III” was the best-selling album of 2008.
His latest album, “Rebirth,” was released this month.
The courthouse fire apparently started in a wooden contractor’s shed in the basement of the building, which houses many of Manhattan’s criminal courts, its district attorney’s office and other agencies.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press