A rapper with Memphis roots who owns a home in College Park told a Clayton County magistrate Tuesday afternoon he will never again bring a firearm into an airport.
Mickey Wright Jr., 34, who goes by "MeMpHiTz," was arrested Monday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after a transportation security officer detected a handgun in his carry-on bag as it went through an X-ray machine. He spent the night at the Clayton County Jail and made his first appearance Tuesday afternoon on the misdemeanor charge.
Wright, who holds a valid Georgia gun permit to carry the .40-caliber Desert Eagle, told Magistrate Betrice Scott it will never happen again.
"I will never intentionally take a firearm to an airport," he said. "It was in a backpack and I just forgot."
While it is not illegal to carry a firearm into the Atlanta airport, it is against the law to bring one through security.
Wearing a bright orange jumpsuit and shackled at his wrists and ankles, Wright was not represented by counsel during the brief hearing. Scott asked if he wanted a public defender or if he would hire his own attorney.
"A public defender is cool," said Wright, who changed his mind as Scott shuffled through papers for an application. Wright had not filled out paperwork for a public defender, said Scott. Given his professional successes, Wright would likely not qualify for one. "Oh, I'll hire my own," he said.
He told Scott he would be able to post a $5,000 bond and was taken back to jail to await the process of bailing out. He was expected to be released early Tuesday evening.
Earlier Wright's wife, Antonia "Toya" Wright, sat on a bench outside the courtroom waiting for the hearing to start. She asked news reporters what to expect and said her husband had never spent the night in jail before.
"No, he is not one to be getting arrested and going to jail," she said.
She declined to speak to reporters after the hearing ended, leaving the courthouse in a Hummer H2 to make bail arrangements.
Wright has crafted a successful career as a rapper and music executive helping to launch others to stardom. A Memphis native, Wright owns a $500,000 home in College Park, according to Fulton County public records.
Toya Wright starred in a popular reality show on BET, "Tiny and Toya," when she was married to her previous husband, rapper Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter Jr.
Tameka "Tiny" Cottle is married to Atlanta rapper T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris. That show ended and Toya is on her own with "Toya: A Family Affair," also airing on BET.
Toya married Wright this summer. The couple was in Atlanta over the weekend at a corporate party to celebrate their endorsement deal with Ampro Pro Styl.
Wright’s arrest is the latest in a recent string of arrests of travelers who reportedly forgot firearms were in their bags as they entered the airport's secured area. John M. Turner, a former Clayton County assistant district attorney, was arrested in June on the same charge and is working through a State Court pre-trial diversion program.