Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Paterson pardons 'Slick Rick' for crimes (UPI)

Paterson pardons 'Slick Rick' for crimes

Published: May 24, 2008 at 4:04 PM

NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) -- New York Gov. David Paterson has given Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters a full pardon for two attempted homicide charges from 1991, the rapper says.

Walters, who has served nearly five years in prison for the crimes, had been facing deportation under a federal statute requiring an immigrant legally living in the United States to be deported if convicted of an aggravated felony or weapons offense, Billboard reported Friday.

The British singer thanked Paterson for his decision to offer him a full pardon, which means he could potentially avoid deportation.

"My family and I are eternally thankful to Governor Paterson, my attorneys and all of the people who have supported me throughout the past 17 years," the "La Di Da Di" singer said. "This has been a long and difficult road and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all. I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life."

Billboard said the 43-year-old rapper could still be deported to Britain, but Paterson's decision is expected to significantly slow the legal process.

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