Vanilla Ice 'thrilled' at plea deal to avoid grand theft charge and possible prison sentence

The rapper has agreed to carry out 100 hours of community service and pay around £900 in compensation to a neighbour for stealing swimming pool equipment

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A “thrilled” Vanilla Ice has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid the possibility of five years in prison if he was convicted of grand theft.

The rapper, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, agreed to carry out 100 hours of community service and pay about £900 in compensation to a neighbour in Lantana, Florida, for stealing pool equipment and furniture.

Under the deal, he must also admit his guilt but he will not have a criminal record as long as he meets the terms.

His lawyer Bradford Cohen said: “He's pretty thrilled. He’s never really been in trouble like this before so obviously he was nervous.”

Van Winkle, 47, had been charged with a third-degree felony, which could have led to a maximum of five years in prison and a £3,300 fine.

He is mainly known for the 1990 song Ice Ice Baby, which includes the line “anything less than the best is a felony”.

Now a reality TV star, he previously said that the circumstances of his arrest were “overblown” and there had been a misunderstanding.

After the plea deal was agreed, Van Winkle told The Palm Beach Post: “I’m glad to have this behind me.”

Mr Cohen said most of the items he was accused of stealing had been left outside the home by squatters who had been vandalizing an unoccupied property.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report