AP Photo/Louis Lanzano
UPDATE: Sentencing was set for Feb. 9.
Lil Wayne's heading to the big house.
The "Hot Revolver" rapper struck a deal with Manhattan prosecutors and pleaded guilty today to attempted weapons possession in exchange for a one-year prison sentence, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office confirmed to E! News.
The 27-year-old Grammy winner, aka Dwayne Carter III, appeared before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Charles Solomon and copped to a felony count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Hizzoner allowed the New Orleans MC to remain free on his current $30,000 bond but ordered him to surrender his passport.
Lil Wayne's attorney, Stacey Richman, told E! News that the plea agreement had been in the works for some time.
"Wayne decided that this was what he wanted to do. I think he had made the decision some time ago and there were discussions [with members of his posse]," the legal eagle said.
Maybe he can ring up incarcerated pal T.I. and ask for some pointers?
Still, Weezy should consider himself lucky, given he could have gotten a much longer sentence if convicted on the original, more serious gun charges.
Lil Wayne got into this mess on July 22, 2007 when police searched his tour bus following a concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City and found a loaded .40-caliber pistol. He was initially booked on one count of criminal weapons possession and one count of criminal possession of a loaded weapon, charges carrying a minimum of three and a half years and a maximum of 15.
The Grammy winner's plea bargain came a day after a hearing on DNA evidence in the case in which his attorney, Stacey Richman, argued that investigators' profiling technique wasn't widely accepted in the scientific community and that the gun in question didn't belong to her client but someone else on the bus.
Lil Wayne's trial was set to kick off Jan. 20. Solomon has now scheduled the next hearing for Dec. 15, at which point the case will be adjourned until February for sentencing.
Richman added that Lil Wayne will begin his term at that time and will likely serve approximately eight months. As for whether it will affect his career, the lawyer didn't think so.
"He's an elegant and intelligent man. . .I don't perceive given who he is, his talents, that this should damage him," she said.
(Originally published Oct. 22, 2009 8:55 a.m. PT)
Lil Wayne's not the only celeb in a legal hole. Check out our Court Appearances photo gallery.