Rap Star Snoop Dogg Escapes Prison Sentence

Snoop Dogg pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of felony possession of a dangerous weapon, his lawyer said.

In a plea deal, the 35-year-old rapper was sentenced to 160 hours of community service and three years probation. He was also ordered to make a $US10,000 ($A11,620) charitable donation, attorney Donald Etra said.

"We are very pleased with the outcome," Etra said. "Snoop's goal is to make music, not make court appearances."

Snoop Dogg, born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr, was arrested September 27, 2006, after the discovery of a collapsible baton in his computer bag at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

Authorities said the baton was a dangerous weapon. Snoop Dogg said it was a prop for a video he was filming in New York.

Etra said the felony conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanour after one year if Snoop Dogg does not violate the law.

"He wants to get on with his life," Etra said. "He will continue his music and his filming and performing."

The case is Snoop Dogg's second in the past year. He was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank October 26 on suspicion of transporting marijuana. Police later found a gun at his home.

The rapper pleaded no contest on April 11 to felony gun and marijuana charges and agreed to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

The cases marked the end of a relatively long trouble-free stretch for Snoop Dogg. He had burnished his image in recent years with appearances in mainstream movies and by starting a youth football league.

Snoop Dogg was convicted in 1990 of cocaine possession and charged with gun possession after a 1993 traffic stop. In 1997, he pleaded guilty in exchange for three years' probation and a promise to make public service announcements against violence.

He was acquitted of a murder charge in 1996 after the death of an alleged street-gang member killed by gunfire from the vehicle in which Snoop Dogg was travelling.

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