Rapper Pleads No Contest to Felony Theft and Two Misdemeanors

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The rapper known as “The Game'' pleaded no contest today to felony grand theft and misdemeanor battery and criminal threats counts stemming from two run-ins in 2015, including one with an off-duty police officer during a basketball game.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edmund Clarke sentenced the 37-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, to three years probation, 180 days jail time -- suspended -- 120 days community service and 26 anger management counseling sessions, according to Deputy District Attorney Deann Rivard.

Clarke also ordered Taylor to stay away from videographer Justin Willard, who testified that Taylor jumped over a fence, put his hand against Willard's shoulders, took his camera and threatened to knock him out if he returned to the rapper's property.

Willard had been assigned to film Taylor being served with legal papers outside his home on April 11, 2015.

Taylor still plays basketball with the off-duty police officer who testified that the rapper -- who was playing on the opposing team in a game at Hollywood High School on March 29, 2015 -- punched him in the face with a closed fist after intentionally fouling him.

“I was kind of stunned, dazed,'' Onyebuchi Awaji testified during the defendant's preliminary hearing.

The officer said he returned to the basketball court and heard Taylor say to him, “I'm going to see you outside. I'm going to kill you,'' then invoke the name of a gang before leaving the gym with his entourage.

Clarke ordered Taylor to stay away from Awaji unless Awaji agrees otherwise. Rivard said the two sometimes play on the same team.

Both victims have filed civil suits against Taylor.

Taylor has had other run-ins with the law. He pleaded no contest in February 2008 to possession of a firearm in a school zone for pulling out a weapon after getting into a dispute at a pickup basketball game at the Rita Walters Educational Learning Complex in South Los Angeles in 2007.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail in that case, in addition to community service and three years probation. He ended up serving eight days before being released.

A rival coach testified that Taylor took a swing at him near the end of that game and later saw the rapper approaching him with a gun.

“Once I saw him grab the gun, I ran,'' Rodrick Shannon testified.

A restitution hearing related to his latest plea is scheduled for March 22. Taylor has waived his personal appearance at that hearing.

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