Rapper DMX Jailed in Erie County Holding Center

Rapper DMX has been sentenced to serve a six-month jail term at the Erie County Holding Center. A county family court judge imposed the sentence after DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, failed to comply with a court order to pay child support for a daughter born in 2001 to a Buffalo resident.

Barry Covert, a well-known, Buffalo-based criminal defense attorney, was asked by WGRZ to comment on the sentencing and other aspects of the case. The full interview is available on WGRZ’s website.

Child support owed to many women

The Buffalo News reports the girl’s mother met DMX in 1999, when he was in Buffalo on tour with Jay-Z and Method Man. She reconnected with him in 2000, and the reunion resulted in her pregnancy.

“He failed to pay child support to the tune of $400,000, and if you do that, you are automatically deemed to be in contempt of court,” said Mr. Covert, who is not handling this case.

DMX has a dozen children by several different women, according to New York Daily News, including four with his estranged wife, and he owes approximately $400,000 in back child support payments. In 2013, a court denied his attempt to file for bankruptcy in order to end the child support debt.

The 44-year-old was given every opportunity to pay before he was sentenced to jail, Mr. Covert said. “He has to show that he made his best efforts to pay. Apparently the court disagreed. They would have run, traditionally, a hearing.”

Past arrests include another in WNY

DMX has been arrested numerous times for many violations, WGRZ reports, including an arrest a few years ago in South Carolina for driving with a suspended license. In 2001, he spent time at the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden after being convicted of speeding on the Kensington Expressway, driving without a license, and marijuana possession. DMX claims to have been assaulted by a corrections officer while in jail in Alden, and video of his release shows him walking out on crutches.

Asked if the fact that DMX is doing jail time for failing to pay his child support would wipe out his debt, Mr. Covert said, “No, absolutely not. He still will owe that amount.” If he doesn’t pay, Mr. Covert continued, he could be returned to jail.

About Barry Covert

Mr. Covert, a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.