Rapper Flavor Flav strikes plea deal in Las Vegas battery case

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[April 15, 2014]  By Laila Kearney

(Reuters) Rapper Flavor Flav must attend counseling sessions after pleading guilty to lesser charges on Monday in a Las Vegas domestic violence case in which he threatened his longtime girlfriend's son with a knife in 2012, court officials said.

The member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy whose legal name is William Drayton Jr. was given a one-year suspended sentence alongside the 12 family counseling sessions, Clark County District Court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said.

Drayton, 55, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors attempted battery with substantial bodily harm and battery constituting domestic violence, Clark County District Attorney spokeswoman Tess Driver said.

Best known for his trademark clock necklace and eccentric personality, the rapper was charged with felony assault and child endangerment after his October 2012 arrest. Authorities said he fought with longtime girlfriend Liz Trujillo and threatened her teenage son with a knife at a residence about 10 miles southwest of the Las Vegas Strip.

Drayton was not sentenced to formal probation, but he could serve jail time if he fails to complete the court-ordered counseling sessions with Trujillo's son, Price said.

The rapper's attorney, Kristina Wildeveld, said the plea deal was crafted to spare Drayton from having a felony crime on his record.

"We came to an agreement that was acceptable to everyone," Wildeveld said. "Flav never had a felony. He never wanted to have a felony."

Wildeveld said Drayton, who also faces a case involving speeding and driving without a license in New York, has already satisfied a couples counseling requirement the court would have ordered by appearing on the cable TV reality show "Couples Therapy" in 2013.

The attorney said Drayton was currently co-parenting with Trujillo, but declined to say if they were in a relationship. They have a young son together named Karma.

Drayton, who is originally from New York's Long Island, rose to prominence in the late 1980s with the politically charged and socially conscious hip hop group Public Enemy.

In recent years, Drayton's public profile rose as a reality TV personality on series such as "The Surreal Life," "Strange Love" and "Flavor of Love."

(Editing by Eric Kelsey and Eric Walsh)

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