Meek Mill, a Philly native. Credit: Clay Patrick McBride
After an hour-and-a-half-long hearing this morning with more than 40 supporters in attendance, rapper Meek Mill, 27, was denied from being freed from a three to six month sentence for allegedly violating the terms of his probation.
"I'm just asking you to give me a chance to do my job and take care of my family," Mill said to Judge Genece Brinkley at the hearing.
"Putting my business on social sites, I think it was kinda immature," Mill said of the tweets criticizing the prosecutor and probation officer handling his case, which in part led to the revocation of his parole.
"I never meant to disrespect the courts, the prosecutors, the probation officers ... This only started after I had Ms. [Treas] Underwood as my probation officer. ... Everything was always hostile when we talked to each other," he said.
"This proceeding was illegal," argued Dennis Cogan, defense attorney for Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams.
Cogan said it was improper to revoke Mill's parole on the basis of violations on July 11 without first holding a hearing to notify him of the violations.
Mill said that Mill testing positive for opiates, forbidden under his probation, was due to oxycodone that Mill was prescribed after spraining his ankle in a dirt bike accident.
He said the gun Mill was holding in a photograph was actually a squirt-gun prop.
He also said the violation for not having a working cell phone was actually due to his phone not having voice mail set up and not picking up when his probation officer called.
Lastly, Cogan said that the violation for scheduling concerts after July 11 was improper because it was not clearly communicated to Mill and was only discussed during an off-the record conversation between Judge Brinkley, prosecutor Noel Ann DeSantis and Mill's lawyer Gary Silver.
Cogan said Silver did not recall the order being made during that conversation.
"It disgusts the commonwealth that he refuses to acknowledged that that conversation happened," DeSantis said.
Judge Brinkley also said that Mill knew he was forbidden from booking shows between July 11 and August 11.
Brinkley additionally read from a probation report in May when Mill allegedly grew angry and shouted at probation officers when they informed him that he was forbidden from booking shows during that period as an example of the behavior that justified revoking his parole.
"When he's in this courtroom he believes he is 'Meek Mill,' he is not Robert Williams, that probation doesn't apply to him," DeSantis said. "He needs to accept the facts, be humble and do his three months, and come out with a 360-degree change of attitude.
After denying Mill's motions for early release, Brinkley ordered him to take parenting classes, anger management classes, and a drug and alcohol treatment program. If he doesn't complete the programs, he will serve the full six months, Judge Brinkley warned.
," Judge Brinkley said. "So that was another break on top of all the other things I've done to keep him out of jail."
Mill and his lawyers also requested for him to be removed from protective custody.
Mill said that since July 11, he has been spending 23 hours a day in a cell with one hour out as part of protective custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and is barred from being around other inmates.
Mill, who spoke at the hearing, said that a major told him he could not participate in any classes as long as he was in protective custody, although Judge Brinkley said she had spoken to the warden and that he could take classes.
"I'm granting the motion to remove protective custody," Judge Brinkley said. "If there is something that happens when you're not in protective custody, the weight of whatever that is is gonna be on your lawyers."
Mill is on probation for a 2008 drug and conviction. He was sentenced after trial to eight months in prison.
Mill's lawyers are appealing Brinkley's decision to revoke parole to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and asking them to take jurisdiction of this case.