ATLANTA - The rapper known as T.I. is likely used to fans watching everything he does. He'll now have a private monitoring service using GPS to track his movements after a judge released him on bond Friday and confined him to his home to await trial on weapons charges.
T.I, whose real name is Clifford Harris, walked out of the federal courthouse in downtown Atlanta after meeting with probation officials and posting a $3 million bond - $2 million in cash and $1 million in equity on property he owns.
"I want to thank all the fans for their support," Mr. Harris said as he left the courthouse. "Due to the severity of the situation, I can't say much more."
Before hopping into a black SUV, he said, "I want to get all of this behind me."
U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman agreed to the bond over government objections so long as Mr. Harris follows a laundry list of conditions, including remaining in a home in suburban Henry County except for medical appointments and court appearances.
Mr. Harris also was required to surrender his passport, not own any guns and stay away from witnesses and informants in the case. The only people who will be allowed to live with him are his girlfriend and children. Visitors will have to be approved by the court.
Judge Baverman warned him sternly not to violate conditions of his bond.
The judge said that if Mr. Harris gets into any trouble or violates the terms of his release, "A number of very bad things will happen." That includes his bond being revoked and any sentence he receives later being potentially increased.
Observing that Mr. Harris has a team of highly qualified attorneys, the judge said, "You shouldn't do anything that will undermine their ability to represent you."
Mr. Harris told Judge Baverman he understood the conditions.
Defense lawyer Ed Garland argued that based on the amount of money being put up, there was no reason not to release his client.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Alley argued that the facts of the case suggest that Mr. Harris should be kept in custody pending trial, but that if the judge ordered him released on bond, the government wouldn't further oppose it.
Judge Baverman said he believed the bond was appropriate.