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D'Angelo's Deal

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Michael "D'Angelo" Archer walked out of a Powhatan County courthouse Aug. 10 leaving his legal problems behind him.

The Grammy-award winning R&B singer pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2005 accident in the county, receiving $1,250 in fines and a nine-month suspended jail sentence. Judge Paul Cella also revoked his driver's license for 12 months.

Archer, 33, crashed his Hummer on state Route 711 in September 2005 and was tossed from the vehicle, suffering minor injuries. Richard Cox, assistant commonwealth's attorney for Powhatan County, declined to prosecute a charge of reckless driving.

The plea deal was the result of a compromise, brought on by the lack of a certified blood test and a witness no-show. Lynne Sellers, who was also injured in the crash in 2005, was scheduled to appear in court but did not.

"He used that accident as a way of being positive about his future," Archer's attorney Ned Mikula says, adding that his client's life has changed since the crash. "From our standpoint, we are extremely pleased."

The singer has reason to be. At the time of the accident, he was serving a three-year suspended sentence for cocaine possession in Chesterfield County. As part of the plea agreement, Senior Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Mark Krueger agreed not to require Archer to return to a Chesterfield County courtroom.

"They had some proof problems," Krueger says. "This just seemed like the best we could do."

Archer, flanked by two bodyguards and several associates, appeared upbeat after the ruling, smiling and laughing with reporters (or, more accurately, at reporters), as they peppered him with questions. The singer, wearing an ill-fitting black suit, appeared to have shed some pounds since the 2005 crash.

Before getting into a SUV, Archer did confirm that new music was "in the works," and that his long-delayed third album remains untitled. S



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