T.I. has made it home to his family for Christmas. He has officially been released from prison today and is living in a halfway house as previously reported. “Rather than catch a commercial flight, which would have tipped off the media, T.I. arrived home in a custom van or bus just in time to celebrate the holidays with his family. T.I. will spend the next few months in a downtown Atlanta halfway house before being released on house arrest his final month.”
Judge Baverman requested that T.I.’s attorneys present a court approved home monitor. He also ordered that T.I. post $2 million in cash for bond – not the $500,000 cash deposit his lawyers had initially proposed – plus the equity in all the property he owns.
This afternoon Judge Baverman ordered T.I. released on a $3 million bond.
$1 million of that bond was secured by T.I.’s Henry County home. The remaining $2 million for the bond came in the form of two cashier’s checks provided by T.I. and Atlantic Records.
“We had a very fair judge,” says Mr. Thomas. “He followed the law. We’re pleased [with his decision]. Given the circumstances of this case, that was a reasonable [bond] proposal. And it was reasonable for the judge to impose the conditions [for release] that he did. Everything that has been done has been very reasonable considering the circumstances of this case.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, during today’s hearing Judge Baverman not only voiced concern about the possibility that T.I. might flee, but more pressing that friends or fans of T.I. might attempt to contact witnesses or informants in the case.
“If any threats befall [them]… the court will be looking to you,” Baverman said.
“Yes, your honor,” T.I. replied.
“Do you understand that?” Baverman asked T.I. after repeating the warning again.
“Yes, your honor,” he answered.
Judge Baverman said that only T.I.’s attorneys can contact victims, witnesses and informants. If anyone else does, T.I. could be arrested and face additional charges.
Judge Baverman has agreed to T.I.’s attorneys’ initial proposal that their client be released to home confinement. T.I. will be monitored 24-hours-a-day by Judicial Corrections Services, Inc. (which is run by one-time acting Fulton County Sheriff Robert McMichael) and cannot leave his home except under limited circumstances, including medical appointments and court appearances. He is allowed three visitors at a time, but they must first submit to criminal background checks.
Additionally, T.I. cannot have any safes in his home. This morning federal agents and representatives from the monitoring service searched his home to ensure it was free of contraband. They have since secured it and have let no one else in since their sweep.
As part of the general conditions of his release on bond T.I. must also submit to random urinalysis, and cannot consume any alcohol.
As of today, no future court dates in this case have been set. “At some point in time the judge will set a date for us to have what we call a federal pre-trial conference,” explains Mr. Thomas. “They’ll do that, and the judge will get a status update as to where we are, what type of challenges we will be filing, or what type of hearings we will need in the future. That pre-trial conference will be set probably within the next 20 days.”
Judge Baverman will handle all pre-trial matters such as these, but U.S. District Judge Charles Pannel is the man who will be deciding T.I.’s fate once, or if, his case reaches trial.
Unfortunately, fans waiting to hear directly from T.I. regarding this case will likely be waiting for some time to hear his words. “None can take place without court approval,” Mr. Thomas says of any interviews with T.I. “And no interviews can take place at his home.”
But Mr. Thomas makes clear that even though T.I.’s supporters can’t hear from him, that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten them. “He sends his well-wishes to his fans,” says Mr. Thomas. “He thanks them for all of their support.”