Philly rapper Meek Mill still in jail, but will get new trial
Court will consider vacating the original conviction that has kept Meek Mill on probation for a decade due to alleged lying by officer.
Lawyers for rapper Meek Mill, real name Robert Williams, celebrated on Monday a Philly judge's decision to allow him a new trial, although he will remain in custody for now.
"Earlier today, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office indicated our support for Meek Mill to be given a new trial. This position was taken due to serious issues regarding the credibility of the arresting officer in the case, Officer Reginald Graham," tweeted Ben Waxman, spokesman for Philly DA Larry Krasner. "These issues, which only recently became public, have implications for dozens of cases where Graham was the arresting officer. Our office also holds the position that we do not oppose Mr. Mill being released on bail while his appeals are being considered."
Judge Genece Brinkley, who sentenced Meek in 2017 against the suggestions of prosecutors and probation officers to two-to-four years, ruled in favor of Meek on Monday at the Post Conviction Relief Hearing and set a hearing on possibly vacating the verdict for June, but did not release him on bail.
Meek Mill's recent re-incarceration stemmed from a 2008 arrest which is now facing serious questions related to allegations that the Philly cop who arrested Meek may not have been credible.
Former Officer Reginald Graham was revealed recently to have been on former DA Seth Williams' controversial "Do Not Call" list of 29 Philly police officers who city prosecutors were directed not to call to testify. DA Larry Krasner offered no support or endorsement of the validity of that list, due to questions over how it was compiled. But they did say in court on Monday that they believe the verdict could soon be vacated.
Meek was on probation due to a 2008 arrest on charges of gun possession and assaulting police. In a 2015 Billboard interview, the rapper admitted to having an illegal gun at the time, but claimed police beat him during the arrest, not the other way around.
That story was bolstered when Jerold Gibson, the former son-in-law of former Gov. Tom Corbett who was fired from the Philadelphia Police Department for stealing cash found in evidence, came forward to back up Meek's claim and submitted sworn statements that Graham and other cops beat Meek during the arrest.
Meek was not in attendance at the hearing, but some 100 of his supporters rallied outside the Criminal Justice Center despite the rain to show their support.