Driver in 2006 T.I. Highway Gun Battle Sentenced

Hosea Thomas and Padron Thomas
Hosea Thomas (l), sentenced to 66 yrs and his brother Padron (r) gets 17 yrs for highway killing

A Ohio judge on Wednesday (June 24) sentenced 41-year-old Padron Thomas to 17 years in prison for his role in the May 2006 gun battle on a stretch of Ohio highway involving T.I. that left the rapper’s assistant and life-long friend dead.

Thomas, the driver of the vehicle that chased and exchanged gunfire with members of T.I.’s entourage in the early morning of May 3, 2006, was sentenced on gun charges and unrelated federal drug charges. Thomas received a reduced sentence on the drug charges –he was linked with a drug ring that shipped marijuana from California to Cincinnati– in exchange for testifying against his younger brother Hosea, who was fingered as the trigger man.

T.I on the witness stand
T.I. gives testimony in the murder trial of Hosea Thomas (11/21/08). Photo: MTV News

Hosea Thomas, 34, was sentenced to 66 years in prison for the killing of Philant Johnson.

A dispute in a Cincinnati club earlier in the evening during a T.I. concert led to the highway carnage. A total of four members of T.I.’s entourage were injured in the shooting, with Johnson being the only fatality. T.I. was not hurt.

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