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Chief Keef gun video at firing range may mean jail

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
[FILE] This CD cover image released by Interscope Records shows Finally Rich, by Chief Keef.

[FILE] This CD cover image released by Interscope Records shows "Finally Rich," by Chief Keef. ((AP Photo/Interscope Records))

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Chicago rapper Chief Keef has been taken into custody after a juvenile court judge decided a video of him firing a semiautomatic rifle at a New York gun range was a violation of probation.

The artist, real name Keith Cozart, was sentenced last year to 18 months' probation after his conviction on aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charges for pointing a gun at police officers.

Judge Carl Anthony Walker said the video showed a disregard for the court's authority. Walker scheduled a Thursday sentencing hearing for the 17-year-old Cozart.

Defense attorney Dennis Berkson told Walker his client never took the gun outside the range and the target practice was supervised.

Chief Keef's first album, "Finally Rich," was released last year to mixed reviews.

County officials say Cozart has been taken to Cook County's juvenile detention center until his next court appearance.

Prosecutors said Cozart violated his probation in June when he visited a gun range in New York. He was prohibited by the judge from having any contact with firearms. Berkson argued Cozart fired a rifle on private property as part of a promotional video. He said that didn't violate the spirit of the judge's order.

But Judge Walker said it was no different than if Cozart handled a gun in a home. In that situation, he would have violated Cozart's parole, the judge said. Cozart, who was sentenced to 18 months probation in January 2012 for pointing a gun at Chicago cops, was handcuffed behind his back and taken out of the court Tuesday.

Cozart, who wore camouflage pants, a black-hooded sweatshirt and Timberland boots, did not address the judge or testify during the two-hour hearing.

Cozart was in the news last summer after another Chicago rapper, Joseph "Lil JoJo" Coleman, was shot to death on the South Side.

Coleman and Cozart, who were affiliated with rival gangs, were engaged in a war of words on the Internet at the time.

Cozart hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing in connection with Coleman's killing.

The Sun-Times Media Wire and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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