PHILADELPHIA (AP) Rapper Meek Mill pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge on Tuesday and won’t serve additional time in prison after reaching a plea agreement in a case that’s kept him on probation for most of his adult life.
The negotiated plea comes after an appeals court threw out the 2007 conviction of the 32-year-old rapper, born Robert Williams, last month.
He’d already served about two years in prison in the case, and a judge decided he won’t have to spend any additional time behind bars or on probation.
“I know this has been a long road for you and hopefully this will be the end of it,” Judge Leon Tucker told the rapper.
34 PHOTOSMeek Mill through the yearsSee GalleryMeek Mill through the yearsNEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 20: Rappers Rick Ross (L) and Meek Mill perform onstage during TIDAL X: 1020 Amplified by HTC at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIDAL)Meek Mill performs during the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, June 28, 2015.REUTERS/Kevork DjansezianNicki Minaj and Meek Mill perform during the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, June 28, 2015.REUTERS/Kevork DjansezianRappers Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016.REUTERS/Eduardo MunozNov 5, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Musical recording artist Nicki Minaj (L) and Meek Mill (R) during the second half of a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. The Cleveland Cavaliers won 102-101. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY SportsNEW YORK, NY – APRIL 12:Meek Mill, Pill and Wale of Maybach Music Group visits BET’s ‘106 & Park’ at 106 & Park Studio on April 12, 2011 in New York City.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)(L-R) Pill, Rick Ross, Wale, DJ Kast One and Meek Mill visits BET’s ‘106 & Park’ at 106 & Park Studio on April 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: Producer Jhlilp and rapper Meek Mill attend an after party following the ‘Home & Home’ concert at the 40 / 40 Club on September 13, 2010 in New York City.(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 11:Rapper Meek Mill attends Webster Hall on August 11, 2011 in New York City.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)CAMDEN, NJ – JULY 29:Rick Ross and Meek Mill performs during the I Am Still Music tour at Susquehanna Bank Center on July 29, 2011 in Camden, New Jersey.(Photo by Jerritt Clark/FilmMagic)MIAMI BEACH, FL – NOVEMBER 11: Meek Mill attends The 2011 MTV2 Sucker Free Awards at Fountainbleau Miami Beach on November 11, 2011 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Vallery Jean/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 19:Meek Mill performs at the Best Buy Theatre on December 19, 2011 in New York City.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 19: Meek Mill performs at the Best Buy Theatre on December 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 31:Recording artist Meek Mill visits BET’s ‘106 & Party’ at BET Studios on December 16, 2011 in New York City.(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY:Rapper Meek Mill performs at THe Manhattan Center on February 29, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images).CONCORD, CA – MAY 07:Rapper/Hip-Hop Vocalist Meek Mill aka. Robert Williams performs at Sleep Train Pavilion on May 7, 2012 in Concord, California.(Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)SACRAMENTO, CA – DECEMBER 01: Meek Mill performs as part of The Maybach Music Group Tour at Sleep Train Arena on December 1, 2012 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 22:Recording artist Meek Mill and DJ Khaled visit 106 & Park at 106 & Park studio on October 22, 2013 in New York City.(Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 21:(L-R) Meek Mill and Stephen Hill attend the Revolt launch party at Slate on October 21, 2013 in New York City.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 30: Meek Mill attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2013 – Afterparty at Prive on September 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 28: Meek Mill performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2013 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on September 28, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 08:(L-R) Justin Bieber, French Montana and Meek Mill attend Meek Mill Official Grammy Party on February 8, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 07:(EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Adam Petrick, Global Brand & Marketing Director for PUMA, and recording artist Meek Mill attend Roc Nation and Three Six Zero Pre-GRAMMY Brunch 2015 at Private Residence on February 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for PUMA)BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 08:(L-R) French Montana, Meek Mill, Khloe Kardashian and Chinx Drugz attend Meek Mill Official Grammy Party on February 8, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)NEW YORK, NY – JULY 02:Meek Mill talks on stage at CRWN A Conversation With Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill event at Gramercy Theatre on July 2, 2015 in New York City.(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for WatchLOUD.com)NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 30:Meek Mill attends his pop up store exerience at 25 Mercer Street on June 30, 2015 in New York City.(Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 28:Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill attend the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 23:Hip-hop artist Meek Mill is seen arriving at a Teen Shelter on December 23, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 05:Recording artist Meek Mill performs at Drai’s Beach Club – Nightclub at The Cromwell Las Vegas on September 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 18:Meek Mill Attends the Gucci Mane ‘Woptober’ Album Release Party at Gold Room on October 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 23:Rick Ross, Meek Mill and 21 Savage attend Rick Ross Birthday Bash at XS Lounge on January 23, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 22: Meek Mill and Alex Gidewon attend a Party at compound Nightclub on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo By Prince Williams/Wireimage)ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 25:Meek Mill performs during V-103 Live Pop Up Concert at Philips Arena on March 25, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)CLARKSTON, MI – JULY 31:Rapper Meek Mill performs at DTE Energy Center during The Pinkprint Tour on July 31, 2015 in Clarkston, Michigan.(Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)Up Next
The negotiated plea came after both sides questioned the credibility of the arresting officer.
The defense also accused the trial judge of bias for sending the entertainer back to prison over minor probation violations.
Williams has called the 12-year ordeal “mentally and emotionally challenging,” but said millions of people face the same issues. He has become an activist for criminal justice reform since he was sent back to prison in 2017 for technical violations he blamed on his erratic travel schedule as his career soared. He spent five months locked up before an appeals court granted him bail.
Last month, a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned the conviction, saying new evidence undermined the credibility of the officer who testified against the rapper at his trial and made it likely he would be acquitted if the case were retried.
District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office had supported Williams’ appeal and said it could not call the former officer to testify after an internal probe found he’d stolen money on duty and lied about it.
“(The state) cannot call a witness whose credibility it mistrusts,” prosecutors wrote in a legal brief this year.
The officer, Reginald Graham, has denied the allegations.
Williams has spent a total of about two years in prison over the case, including an initial term of about a year and several later stints over travel violations and painkiller use.
“The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I’m ecstatic that justice prevailed,” Williams said last month after his conviction was overturned. “Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don’t have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them.”?
He is now free of the close scrutiny of Judge Genece Brinkley, who convicted him after a short nonjury trial in 2008 and called him back to court repeatedly during a decade of court supervision. Brinkley frequently complained that Williams was “thumbing his nose” at her, and once visited a homeless shelter to check up on his community service efforts. She later reprimanded him for sorting clothes rather than serving meals as she had ordered. He said he was directed to the job.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court removed Brinkley from the case as it granted Williams a new trial. Krasner’s office then had to decide whether to retry him or try to negotiate a plea, perhaps to misdemeanor charges. In his testimony at trial, Williams admitted having a gun but denied that he pointed it at police or was selling drugs at the time.
In 2015, a federal jury rejected a lawsuit Williams filed against a Philadelphia police over what he called a racially motivated, 10-hour traffic stop that led him to miss the launch party for his 2012 debut album, “Dreams & Nightmares.”
His follow-up albums include the chart-topping “Dreams Worth More Than Money” and last year’s “Championships,” which includes performances from Jay-Z, his mentor, and former girlfriend Nicki Minaj.
On July 24, just hours before the Pennsylvania Superior Court threw out his conviction, Meek Mill and Jay-Z announced they were launching a new label called Dream Chasers Records. His growing business empire also includes an ownership stake in the hat company Lids.
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