Judge Sentences Scott Weiland To A Year In Jail
Bandmates, family and friends watch as teary-eyed STP frontman sentenced for parole violation.
Staff Writer Teri vanHorn reports:
LOS ANGELES — As his bandmates watched from the back of the courtroom, troubled Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland received his expected sentence of one year in jail Friday (Sept. 3).
Sobs could be heard from the gallery as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler handed down the punishment.
Weiland's attorney, Michael Nasatir, presented a series of letters and testimonials from drug counselors in an attempt to prove that the troubled singer had turned a corner in his attempts to clean up, but Fidler was unmoved.
"I understand what you've provided," Fidler told Nasatir, "but you have to keep in mind that the people of California have chosen that this sickness is also a criminal activity."
The singer, appearing healthy and sporting dark hair and an orange jail-house shirt and pants set, seemed calm during the half-hour proceedings, occasionally looking back at loved ones in the courtroom and smiling weakly. He appeared to get teary-eyed as he looked down at the ground during the judge's ruling.
Weiland, who has been battling drugs for several years, was sentenced for violating his probation on an August 1998 conviction for heroin possession. He has been jailed in the Biscaluz Rehabilitation Center of Los Angeles County Jail since admitting to the violation in court Aug. 13.
A crowd of more than 20 people, including Weiland's STP bandmates, family members and friends, sat in the gallery during the proceeding. A few sobbed when the judge's decision was handed down.
Fidler ordered Weiland, 31, to immediately begin serving a one-year sentence in Los Angeles County Jail. He recommended that the singer continue in the in-jail treatment program, but said the sheriff will decide whether he will be allowed to stay in the program.
Weiland will be given 35 days of credit for time served over the past year. The judge ordered three years of probation for the singer following his release.
STP guitarist Dean DeLeo, Weiland's mother, and the band's manager, Steve Stewart, all declined to comment on the sentence. Nasatir and Weiland's New York lawyer, Bob Kalina, also would not comment.
During the hearing, Nasatir described Weiland as "an enormously talented, personable, terrific guy who's got an enormous problem." He argued that the singer is a sick man and that his sickness should not be viewed as only a crime.
Nasatir offered several witnesses, but called only two to present statements to Fidler after the judge told him that he had reviewed and understood the defense's documents, which included letters from rehabilitation counselors, Weiland's doctor and Weiland himself.
The two witnesses who addressed the court were rehabilitation professionals who had worked extensively with Weiland on his addiction. Robert Timmons, co-founder of the drug-rehab center Impact House and now a director at another program called Cry Help, spoke about the "phenomena of relapse."
"Scott is someone I haven't given up on," said Timmons, who has counseled Weiland since 1993. Timmons said he believed "this time [Weiland] authentically wants recovery."
Ed Warden, who has treated the singer for about five years, said Weiland is conquering the "reservation" he had about getting well.
Deputy District Attorney Norm Montrose argued for a one-year sentence that would include 90 days in the jail drug-treatment program followed by nine months at Cry Help. "Basically, your honor, Mr. Weiland is on the road to killing himself," he said. "If I were in your position, I would have run out of patience too." Montrose also sought a suspended sentence of two to three years in state prison if Weiland again failed in his sobriety.
Fidler said he disagreed with both Montrose's and Nasatir's arguments. In handing down Weiland's sentence, the judge read from a June 4 court transcript in which he had admonished the singer for an earlier violation and warned him that if he violated parole again, he would serve a minimum of a year in county jail.
Fidler said that not following through on promises results in the public losing "confidence with the courts, and when that happens, we're finished."
"I have made up my mind in this case," he continued. Then, addressing the singer, Fidler concluded, "Mr. Weiland, I wish you the best, but my optimism remains guarded."
STP, who have played three surprise shows since regrouping last year, will release their fourth album, No. 4, Oct. 26. The album includes the single "Down," which is receiving radio play on rock stations in Los Angeles and New York.
A label spokesperson could not be reached for comment on the sentence or tour plans at press time.
Weiland has admitted in court to violating the terms of his probation three times since his conviction. The first time was in January, following his dismissal from the drug-rehab center Impact House for failing to comply with the terms of their program.
After being repeatedly warned that further violations would land him in jail, he was allowed to enter another program. That clinic kicked Weiland out over the July 4 weekend. According to Montrose, Weiland also overdosed on heroin around that time. The Associated Press reported that he was hospitalized for the overdose.
Weiland also pleaded guilty to a heroin-possession charge in New York in February. The case stemmed from a June 1998 arrest on the afternoon he was scheduled to perform a sold-out show in support of his solo debut, 12 Bar Blues (1998).
The arrest brought an abrupt end to the tour. His drug problems had previously derailed STP's plans to tour behind their most-recent album, Tiny Music ... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996), featuring the song "Big Bang Baby"
STP Bandmates 'Stand Strong' With Weiland As Singer Awaits Sentencing
Footage shot at the group's recent surprise show will be used to promote the new album, No. 4.
Scott Weiland's bandmates in Stone Temple Pilots are "standing strong" with him as the troubled singer awaits sentencing for using heroin while on probation, the rock band said in a statement Tuesday (Aug. 17).
The statement, issued through Atlantic Records, began, "We are standing strong with Scott during this traumatic period. ... In the decade that we've been together, there has never been so much unity, love and mutual support in this band as there is today."
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered Weiland jailed Friday after the singer admitted to violating probation on his August 1998 conviction for heroin possession. Judge Larry P. Fidler previously warned the singer after an earlier violation that he would serve a year in prison if he had another strike; District Attorney Norm Montrose called that sentence "very likely" Monday. Weiland is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 3.
STP — Weiland, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz — recently completed work on their first album in three years, No. 4. The album is expected to hit stores in late October or early November.
"We are extremely excited about the new album, which has just been finished, and are anxious for our fans to hear it," the band said in the statement.
STP, whose hits include "Sex Type Thing" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Interstate Love Song," added that they felt it would be inappropriate to comment further before Weiland's sentencing.
Meanwhile, footage shot during the band's surprise performance at the House of Blues in Las Vegas last week will be used in the promotion of the album, according to the band's Atlantic Records spokesperson.
The footage also may spawn a video for the album's expected first single, "Down." The song features the band's staple hard-rock groove and lyrics that pivot on the line "Will you follow me down?"
Other tunes on the album include "Heaven and Hot Rods" and "I Got You." The band did not have formal plans to tour behind the album prior to Weiland's jailing, the spokesperson said.
Weiland's case stems from a September 1997 arrest in which he was found with a small quantity of heroin. He finished a 90-day drug-treatment program in October 1998 after entering a no-contest plea. In June, he admitted violating his probation on that conviction and was allowed to enter a residential drug-rehabilitation center in Los Angeles, according to Montrose. The center, Sober House, kicked him out over the July 4 weekend; Weiland also overdosed on heroin around that time, according to the district attorney. The Associated Press reported that Weiland was hospitalized for the overdose.
Weiland's drug problems derailed the band's plans to tour behind its third album, Tiny Music ... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996). Last summer, his first-ever solo tour — to promote his solo album, 12 Bar Blues — met the same fate when he was again arrested for heroin possession in New York.
STP fans, who were contacted through websites devoted to the band, expressed a mixture of reactions to Weiland's lapse into drug abuse and legal trouble.
"You feel kind of hurt and mad on the one hand, because it just seems so stupid for this to happen right before they're finally gonna give us a new record," wrote 21-year-old fan Melissa McLees in an e-mail. "But my friend and I were talking about [it], and she said that if you've ever known anyone with a drug addiction, you can't be angry. You have to understand. Scott loves his fans, but he's sick and needs help. We have to accept that.
"And so maybe they won't tour until mid-2000," she continued. "But then they're really gonna rock."
Stone Temple Pilots Singer Jailed
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland is back in jail because of illegal drug use.
The rock star had been on probation, receiving outpatient treatment for drug addiction, but in July he received hospital treatment for a heroin overdose.
Weiland was sent to jail ``to show that this will not be tolerated ... (and) to help him make up his mind to stop killing himself,'' Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler said Friday.
Weiland was taken to the hospital ward at the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail. His next court date is Sept. 5. He had wanted to be sent to a court-ordered drug program, but the judge noted that hadn't worked previously.
The singer was arrested in 1995 for possession of cocaine and heroin in Pasadena. Charges were dropped in exchange for completing a diversion program but he was arrested again in 1997 and pleaded guilty to heroin possession last summer. He was later kicked out of a rehabilitation program in Pasadena.
In February, he also pleaded guilty to drug possession in New York.
8/2/99 MTV News
Stone Temple Pilots Finish Work On "Four"
The Stone Temple Pilots are in Atlanta this week to finish mixing their new album, tentatively titled "4," which the band's label, Atlantic Records, hopes to have out by the end of the year, possibly as early as November.
Considering the band's obvious influences, the title of the new Pilots record would seem to be a playful nod to Led Zeppelin's similarly named 1971 album, "IV," which included the band's signature tune, "Stairway to Heaven" (and which was also released by Atlantic Records).
STP wrapped most of the principle recording for its forthcoming fourth LP, the long-awaited follow-up to 1996's "Tiny Music … Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop," in June with engineer Nick DiDia and producer Brendan O'Brien.
O'Brien, who also produced STP's three previous records, is now in the middle of sessions with Korn for that group's next album (see "Korn Records With Brendan O'Brien For New LP").
In March, the members of Stone Temple Pilots reconvened for a special surprise show at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, marking the first time in almost two years that brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo, Eric Kretz, and Scott Weiland had appeared onstage together.
Stone Temple Pilots Play Surprise L.A. Club Show
July 19, 1999, 1:55 pm PT
The four members of Stone Temple Pilots, all sick of not playing shows, gave a hastily-organized seven-song performance at the tiny Dragonfly club in Hollywood on Saturday (July 17) night.
Playing on equipment borrowed from the local band Dragline (who had performed earlier in the evening), STP roared sloppily and loudly through "Crackerman," "Tumble in the Rough," "Meatplow," "Unglued," "Vasoline," "Sex Type Thing," and "Piece of Pie." The song "Dead and Bloated" was on the set-list taped to singer Scott Weiland's monitor but it wasn't played, nor were any new tunes.
The short show was STP's first live performance since a surprise gig at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on March 16 (allstar, March 17). Drummer Eric Kretz told allstar after the show that the quartet hasn't even rehearsed once since the Viper show.
"I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about music," said Kretz in the club's small dressing room, "and I suddenly realized that I was talking about rock instead of playing rock. So we called our friend Anthony, who runs the club, and he got us a spot."
The next STP album, called No. 4, should be in stores Nov. 2, according to band manager Steve Stewart. The group is in Atlanta this week mixing the album with Brendan O'Brien, who also produced the recording in Los Angeles. Songs expected to make the final cut include "Heaven & Hotrods," "Atlanta," "Down," and "I've Got You."
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