Willie Nelson won't have to sing in court, says judge

Texas judge says request for country legend to sing for his freedom was simply a joke that 'got out of hand'

Willie Nelson may not be singing his way out of jail after all. A judge has corrected earlier reports that the terms of a plea deal would require the country legend to perform a song at a Texas courthouse. To resolve his November arrest for possession of marijuana, Nelson may simply pay a fine by post.

According to judge Becky Dean-Walker, the story of a judicial serenade was simply a runaway punchline. Last week, Hudspeth County prosecutor Kit Bramblett said they would waive Nelson's drugs charge if he agreed to "pay a small fine and ... sing Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain with his guitar right there in the courtroom". Yesterday, Dean-Walker told the Associated Press that Bramblett was trying to be funny "and it got out of hand". Nelson must still pay about $378 (£236) in fines and fees, however.

Nelson was arrested on 26 November 2010, when border patrol officers found a small quantity of marijuana on his tour bus. "I had forgotten that there was this little bag of weed on the bus that had been in the back there for weeks when I had been gone," Nelson told Rolling Stone. "Naturally when they stopped us there the dogs came on and the first thing they went to was that little bag of pot." The singer initially faced up to 180 days in jail.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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