Felony Charge Dropped Against Artist 'Nelly'

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 11, 2015

Hip hop artist Nelly was spotted in the Mid-State, but it wasn't for a concert. He was in a Putnam County courtroom to face several charges stemming from an arrest in April.

Cornell “Nelly” Haynes received some good news Friday.

The district attorney said they treated him like any other resident of Putnam County.

He's been producing multiple number one hits for over a decade and now he's on tour, but in April his fans got to know him by his real name after he was arrested in Putnam County.

State Troopers claimed they found pot, meth, and guns inside his tour bus.

His attorneys dismissed those claims, and Haynes went before a judge Friday and learned the most serious charge, a felony charge, was being dropped.

“After we investigated the case fully and sent that substance to the Tennessee Crime Lab, it was discovered that it was not methamphetamine, and in fact the maximum charge that Mr. Haynes was guilty of were class A misdemeanors,” said Bryant Dunaway, Putnam County District Attorney.

Haynes walked out of court with only 11 months and 29 days probation. His attorneys said the two misdemeanors will eventually be dropped.

“This is exactly what we were hoping for, and I think it was a very fair disposition,” said Scott Rosemblum, Nelly’s attorney. “I have no doubt whatsoever that after this year's time, after the diversionary program is completed, there'll be nothing on Mr. Haynes' record.”

He's expected to be in France on Sunday to continue his tour, and from the sounds of Friday's outcome, it's possible fans might see him back in the state under different circumstances.

“I think exactly what happened is exactly what we thought would happen, and Tennessee is a great place and I love it,” Nelly said.

There was another man in the tour bus that was arrested and charged with having weapons. The D.A. said the charges against that person were also dismissed because the person charged didn't have a past criminal history.