Sentencing in the cocaine possession case of embattled Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (real name: Russell Jones), due to be handed out yesterday (June 13) in a Queens, N.Y., courtroom, has been

Sentencing in the cocaine possession case of embattled Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (real name: Russell Jones), due to be handed out yesterday (June 13) in a Queens, N.Y., courtroom, has been postponed until July 17, according to a spokesperson for the Queens district attorney's office. Jones remains in custody pending the next hearing.

The postponement was requested by Jones' lawyer, who said more time was necessary to prepare a comprehensive report on the rapper's criminal and mental history. The state department of probation is required to submit such a report in cases that may involve sentencing in state prison.

At Jones' April 20 hearing, prosecutor Kenneth Holder said he would seek the minimum penalty in exchange for a guilty plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance. The sentence could constitute between two and four years in jail.

It is understood that Jones will not face additional jail time for his failure to appear in court last October after he escaped from a court-ordered stay at a drug rehab clinic in Pasadena, Calif. The following month, the rapper shocked the hip-hop community by appearing onstage at the release party for the Wu-Tang clan's "The W" album. Less than a week later, he was apprehended in the parking lot of a Philadelphia McDonald's.

Last month's guilty plea stems from a March 1999 incident when police found crack cocaine and marijuana on Jones while investigating his vehicle during a stop for a traffic violation. The rapper's list of legal troubles is lengthy, including a not-guilty verdict on charges of attempted murder, weapons possession, and assault, stemming from a January 1999 shooting.

ODB makes a guest appearance on Wu-Tang Clan colleague RZA's forthcoming album "Digital Bullet," due Aug. 14 on In the Paint/Koch.

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