Meek Mill’s Decadelong Legal Battle Could Be Coming to an End as Judge, Prosecutors Meet
Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s long-running court battle took another turn as he was granted a new trial last month. At a status hearing Tuesday, we could learn if the development leads to an end to his 12-year legal saga.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Mill’s legal team and a new judge appointed to Mill’s case will discuss what’s next at the Tuesday morning hearing.
On July 24, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled that that Mill, whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, would be granted a new trial. Philadelphia prosecutors now could choose to retry the case or drop it altogether.
Krasner’s office has said it will not call the police officer who was the sole prosecution witness in Mill’s trial because of doubts about his credibility.
Krasner’s office issued a statement after the superior court decision, indicating that it was pleased.
“The District Attorney’s Office is pleased that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has validated our position that Robert Rihmeek Williams deserves a new trial before a court that has no appearance of partiality,” the office said after the superior court decision. “The DAO led by District Attorney Larry Krasner is currently reviewing the opinion issued today and will begin to review options. We have no further comment on this matter at this time.”
Multiple requests for comment from Krasner’s office about what they will decide to do have not been answered.
Mill has used his time behind bars on a parole violation, his subsequent release and his platform as a hip-hop star to push for greater criminal justice reform.
In a statement after the superior court decision, Mill thanked the court and said he was “ecstatic that justice prevailed.” He also vowed to continue working to “change these outdated laws and fix our broken criminal justice system.”
Microphones were being set up on Filbert Street outside the Center City courthouse Tuesday morning so that Mill can address supporters after the 9 a.m. hearing.
The rapper was originally sentenced to 11 to 23 months following his conviction on 2007 gun and drug offenses. His non-jury trial featured only one witness for the prosecution, former Philadelphia Police Officer Reginald Graham.
Graham has since been added to a list of Philadelphia police officers who were deemed untrustworthy witnesses by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Graham also was found to have stolen money in a drug bust and lied to the FBI by Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs, according to reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Superior Court noted that none of Graham’s history of alleged misconduct was presented at Mill’s original trial.
“Williams’ right to be tried before an impartial judge is necessary in this case because the trial judge heard highly prejudicial testimony at the first trial, which was a bench trial, and made credibility determinations in favor of a now discredited witness and against Williams,” the court said in its ruling.
This story is developing through the day and will be updated.