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Meek Mill Closes the Book on 12-Year Legal Saga

Rapper pleads guilty to one gun charge, other charges dropped
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2019 11:28 AM CDT
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Rapper Meek Mill, center, arrives at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.   (Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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(Newser) – For more than a decade, rapper Meek Mill has been embroiled in a legal saga surrounding gun and drug charges from 2007. On Tuesday morning, it ended. A Common Court Pleas judge in Pennsylvania agreed to let Mill plead guilty to a single gun charge (misdemeanor illegal possession of a firearm), and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office dropped all other charges, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "I know this has been a long road for you and hopefully this will be the end of it," the judge said, per NBC Philadelphia. The move comes a month after the Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated Mill’s 2008 conviction; as TMZ explains, Mill wanted to avoid a retrial (though the gossip site says he "likely would've won"), and thus took the plea to end the legal battle. As he left the courthouse to the Rocky theme, he said, "Meek freed" and thanked supporters.

The former Philly cop who was the only person to testify at Mill's trial left the force after he was found to have stolen money and lied to the FBI, and he was later accused by another ex-cop of lying to get Mill convicted. Despite that, the rapper's defense team was continually thwarted in its efforts to have the case against Mill dropped. Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who oversaw the case from its start, sentenced him to five months in jail and then oversaw his ensuing probation—repeatedly finding him in violation of it. At one point, she ordered him to attend etiquette classes; at another, she jailed him for booking concerts after being told not to. The rapper's defense team and many supporters accused her of bias and other problems. Mill has become an advocate for criminal justice reform. (More on his case and how things started to turn around here.)

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