Rapper DMX has pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession, theft and animal cruelty as part of a plea bargain.

The rap star and actor, real name Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty, one count of theft, and one count each of felony possession of marijuana and a narcotic drug.

Simmons, 38, will be sentenced to a minimum of 90 days in jail when he returns to the Maricopa County superior court for a hearing on January 30th.

"I am pleased that this defendant will be held accountable," said county attorney Andrew Thomas in a statement.

The Flesh of My Flesh star has been arrested on several occasions in Arizona in the past year, as well as missing several court appointments.

Simmons is said to have given the name 'Troy Jones', along with a false Social Security number, to avoid paying a $7,500 (£5,168) medical bill earlier this year.

And the rapper was also arrested in May at his home outside Phoenix on suspicion of animal cruelty and drug possession after officers found abused pit bull terriers, dog carcasses and marijuana when they searched his property.

Simmons will remain in jail until his sentencing next month and will not be given credit for time already served.

A violation of his probation could result in a prison sentence exceeding ten years.

31/12/2008 10:49:39