There was good news, then bad for rapper Meek Mill in a Philadelphia courtroom Monday. Prosecutors agreed that his conviction should be overturned, but the controversial judge in the case ruled Mill will have to stay in jail until June for yet another evidentiary hearing.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said in court Monday that the Philly rapper’s gun- and drug-related convictions from 2008 should be overturned, after the credibility of Mill’s arresting officer was recently impugned. Mill already served time for the conviction, and is now serving another two to four years in jail on a probation violation.
But the judge in the case, Genece Brinkley, refused to toss the charges and instead scheduled another hearing for June 18.
She also refused to hear arguments that Mill be released on bail.
“This is outrageous, the conviction should have never happened in the first place — the conviction was filled with constitutional violations,” Mill’s lawyer Joe Tacopina told Page Six of the ruling Monday. He said of the hearing in June, “A hearing over what? In this case, both parties agree that the conviction needs to be overturned.”
While Mill’s lawyers wanted him out on bail, Brinkley said she would not address that issue Monday. “Under what scenario in this country does a guy stay in jail when the prosecution agrees he’s wrongfully convicted? … In a case laden with outrageous facts, it’s the most outrageous fact of them all,” Mill’s lawyer told us.
Mill’s team says they’ll apply for emergency relief as soon as Monday. “Any hope that [Judge Brinkley] would do the right thing was eviscerated today,” Tacopina said.
He added that “80 other petitions” to overturn cases in which Mill’s arresting officer, Reggie Graham, was involved are being heard on Friday. But “These other 80 petitions have a hearing Friday … only one of the cases not heard on Friday [is Meek Mill]. It’s vindictive … This is an outrage.”
Mill’s supporters rallied outside the courthouse. Stars who have publicly championed his release have been Jay-Z, Drake, Al Sharpton and Colin Kaepernick.
Mill told Page Six last week from jail, “I’m doing time in a state penitentiary right now for a crime I didn’t do when I was 19, I’m 30 years old now.” He added, “I am a political prisoner.”
Reports said the Philly DA’s office said in court that Mill should be granted a new trial, but the move could open the door to decline to press forward with one.
Source: Page Six (Ian Mohr)
Photo Credit: PennLive.com
Photo Credit: Hip Hop DX