Meek Mill won't serve any more jail time after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge on Tuesday (27Aug19) resolving a case that has kept him on probation for over a decade.
The 32-year-old rapper, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, reached the plea agreement with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania prosecutors after an appeals court threw out an original 2008 conviction for drug dealing and gun possession last month. He pleaded guilty to the one misdemeanour weapons charge, and all others were dropped.
In a statement obtained by U.S. website Complex, Meek said he was glad his long legal ordeal was behind him, and he hoped to highlight the plight others with similar legal problems faced, as well as working to end gun violence.
"I'm extremely grateful that my long legal battle is finally behind me and I appreciate that it has sparked a much-needed discussion about probation reform and the inequalities that exist within our two Americas," he said. "I have always told the truth-that as a teenager, who saw many around me die from senseless gun violence, I carried a gun for protection.
"I take responsibility for that and-in conjunction with my work on (his prison reform non-profit) the REFORM Alliance-I'll continue to use my platform to make communities safer and reform our criminal justice system."
The old charge led to him serving more than two years behind bars, including for parole violations, and so the presiding judge ruled he would not have to spend any more time in jail.
"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, according to the Associated Press.
The overturning of his 2008 conviction and negotiated plea came after the credibility of the arresting officer was called into question. His legal team also accused Judge Genece Brinkley of bias, after she kept sending the rapper back to prison over minor probation violations, most recently in 2017.
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