DMX pleads guilty to drug, other charges

Sentencing hearing for the rapper set for Jan. 30

DMX has reached a plea deal on multiple drug possession, theft and animal cruelty charges.

The rapper, born Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, one felony count of theft, and one count each of felony possession of marijuana and a narcotic drug.

DMX, who appeared in handcuffs and wearing a black-and-white striped prison uniform, is expected to receive a minimum 90-day jail sentence as well as probation under terms of a plea agreement, according to the Maricopa County attorney's office. He will remain in the county jail until his sentencing and won't be given credit for time served.

A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner has set a sentencing hearing for Jan. 30.

Additional charges will be dismissed then.

As part of the plea agreement, DMX cannot own any animals, possess firearms and must attend an animal offender treatment program. If he violates probation, he could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

A call to his public defender was not returned.

The 38-year-old rapper -- whose albums include "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot" and "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood" and "Year of the Dog ... Again" -- has been arrested several times in Arizona in the past year and missed several court dates.

The animal cruelty and dangerous drugs charges stem from an August 2007 raid Maricopa County sheriff's deputies conducted at DMX's home in the Phoenix suburb of Cave Creek. Investigating a report of animal abuse, authorities found three dead dogs, guns, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

Authorities alleged that DMX gave a false name and Social Security number when being treated at a Scottsdale hospital in April. He was indicted on felony charges of theft and taking someone's identity.

In May, sheriff's deputies and a SWAT team went to his home again to serve arrest and search warrants on the earlier drug and animal cruelty charges. DMX briefly barricaded himself in his bedroom before surrendering. Deputies said they found marijuana in his house.
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