Kevin Gates has a few reasons to smile this morning. After spending the past 14 or so months in prison (the last 9 months were from a 30-month sentence), Gates is finally a free man.
According to TMZ, the rapper was scheduled to be released from an Illinois state prison today (Wed, Jan. 10) on parole, and unlike the last time he was scheduled to be released, this time around he was able to successfully walk out of prison with no surprise warrants or re-arrests.
In October 2016, Gates was found guilty of battery for an August 2015 incident in which he kicked a female fan in the chest after she grabbed him (allegedly in his genital area) while he was performing on stage during a concert in Lakeland, Florida.
Gates discussed the incident in a song he released in September 2015 called “The Truth.” He rapped:
Man in the mirror you way out of order / Go to jail who gonna look out for your daughter / All on the news ’bout what happened in Florida / Posted on Worldstar a iPhone recorded / She grabbed my d*ck overreacted, I’m sorry
Two or three times I had already warned her / Edit that part out, I don’t like to argue / My children go with me to every performance
Wrong, you should have respect for yourself / You a queen and you wasn’t respecting yourself / Ever been disrespected, you know how it felt / You don’t have to like me go love someone else
During the trial, 18-year-old Miranda Dixon said she was only trying to get the rapper’s attention, while Gates and testified that he feared for his safety and was simply defending himself against sexual assault.
His lawyer Jose Baez (also Casey Anthony’s lawyer) even tried to use Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law”—the same law that allowed Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, to go free—as a defense. A jury of six white women found Gates guilty and he was immediately taken into custody to serve a 180-day sentence in jail.
If you’ll remember, Gates was released from a Florida prison for all of five minutes on March 30, 2017 before he was re-arrested on an outstanding warrant that was issued because he failed to appear in court regarding a 2013 gun charge.
The “2 Phones” rapper pled guilty to felony gun charges in April 2017 in Cook County, Illinois and was sentenced to 30 months in prison at the Illinois Dept. of Corrections.
Even though he’s free from the confines of prison, Gates isn’t 100% in the clear yet, as he’s out on parole, and his release conditions include mandatory supervision and no possession of firearms. But, hey, it’s better than prison!