Rapper Lil Wayne won't be spending the night at Rikers. A fire at the Manhattan Criminal Court building on Centre Street this morning bought him (another!) temporary reprieve from jail.
Wayne was scheduled to be sentenced today on weapons charges stemming from an incident in 2007 when police officers found marijuana and a .40-caliber pistol on his tour bus outside the Beacon Theatre. He plead guilty to the charges last October and should spend between eight months and a year in prison once he's sentenced.
Just when that will happen, though, is unclear. Wayne's day of reckoning was canceled after a blaze broke out in the basement of the courthouse on Centre Street around 10:30 this morning, spreading smoke throughout the building. The courthouse was quickly evacuated and closed for the day. Visitors who turned up were assured that they wouldn't face warrants for missing scheduled appearances due to the fire.
Wayne's lawyer, Stacey Richman, said her client found out his sentencing was postponed when she text messaged him as his plane from Miami landed in New York. On the phone this afternoon, Richman told us "everything is literally in limbo," but that Wayne is staying in the city in case the building reopens tomorrow and he's able to have his day in court.
Today isn't the first time that Lil' Wayne's trip to Rikers has been delayed, of course. His sentencing was originally scheduled for February 9, but his lawyers asked for a delay so he could undergo eight root canal procedures.
Wayne has been taking advantage of the slow pace of his case, though. Besides getting his dental work done, Wayne has used the past few weeks to set up a Twitter account, shoot seven music videos that will be released when he's in the can, and to record a "Road to Rikers" video diary where he mostly asks viewers to follow him on the aforementioned Twitter account. Wayne's most recent Tweet, which was posted this morning: "They kant lok up my heart."