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Las Vegas arrest complicates Flavor Flav’s NY court case

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — What happened in Vegas apparently is not staying in Vegas.

Flavor Flav
Flavor Flav (Christopher Polk, Getty Images)

Entertainer Flavor Flav’s arrest last month in Nevada on allegations he was speeding and driving under the influence has delayed an expected settlement in a New York case on similar charges.

“I’m just a little disappointed because I thought this was gonna go away today,” said the rapper and reality TV star, sporting his trademark clock around his neck as he left a Long Island courthouse. “But it’s OK. I just gotta come back.”

Flav, 56, whose real name is William Drayton, has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of driving with a suspended license, along with a speeding violation and two misdemeanors stemming from his January 2014 arrest on Long Island while driving to his mother’s funeral.

One of his attorneys indicated before Tuesday’s proceeding that his client was considering a guilty plea to settle the New York case. But prosecutors raised concerns over his arrest in Las Vegas and said that rather than considering a plea deal, they were inclined to proceed to trial and would be seeking a six-month jail sentence if he is convicted.

Last month, Drayton was pulled over on a freeway on-ramp near McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas after police say he was traveling 73 mph in a 45 mph zone. He also possessed a small amount of marijuana, the Nevada Highway Patrol says. Formal charges have yet to be filed in the case; prosecutors say they are still waiting for the results of blood tests.

Neither New York prosecutors nor his defense attorney discussed specific details Tuesday of a potential plea agreement.

“We’re getting very close to resolving this matter but because we’re dealing with different states we have to determine whether or not a plea in this case in New York will affect his ability to travel and go on tour,” said attorney Michael DerGarabedian.

The lawyer would not say if his client would accept a plea that includes jail time. “I think that he thinks the district attorney is going extra hard on him,” DerGarabedian said. “Granted he didn’t help his position by getting re-arrested a couple of weeks ago, but if this matter was resolved in a timely fashion that would have been Nevada’s problem.”

But Shams M. Tarek, a spokesman for the Nassau County prosecutor’s office, said, “This defendant is being treated the same way any defendant with a history of aggravated unlicensed operation convictions and a new arrest for driving while impaired by drugs would be.

“Every delay and adjournment has been requested by the defense,” he added.

The current legal issues are not the first for Drayton.

A Nevada judge closed a criminal case against him last August after he completed a required domestic violence counseling course. The rapper pleaded guilty to attempted battery and battery constituting domestic violence, misdemeanors, for wielding a kitchen knife during a home argument with his longtime girlfriend’s 17-year-old son.

And last week, Las Vegas prosecutors said they would not pursue charges against Drayton for allegedly having an illegal fireworks display at a July Fourth party last summer.

The Long Island native who currently lives in Las Vegas was inducted in 2013 with the rap group Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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