News Column

Jailed rapper Meek Mill hires big legal guns

July 17, 2014

By Mensah M. Dean, Philadelphia Daily News

July 17--RAPPER MEEK MILL appears to be launching an aggressive legal battle to get out of jail, where he's been since Friday for violating probation.

Yesterday, the rapper, whose real name is Robert Williams, hired two prominent Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys -- Dennis Cogan and Christopher Warren. Cogan's clients have included disgraced former state Sen. Vincent Fumo, while Warren recently represented former Philly mob consigliere George Borgesi.

This morning, the rapper's new legal team is expected to file a motion requesting an emergency hearing to argue that he did not violate the terms of his probation and should not have been sentenced to three to six months in jail.

In the meantime, the financial losses to Mill and his record label, Maybach Music Group, are mounting.

His "Homecoming" concert scheduled for Saturday at Temple University'sLiacouras Center was postponed yesterday, said Ike Richman, spokesman for Comcast-Spectacor, which manages the venue. Tickets ranging from $36 to $95 are still being sold, however, because the show will be rescheduled for a yet-to-be-determined date, Richman said.

The postponed Saturday show is the second gig the rapper will have missed since Friday, when he was booked for a show in Washington, D.C.

Mill and his entourage appeared stunned Friday when Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley revoked his probation and sentenced him to three to six months in jail and five years of probation.

Following a four-hour hearing, Brinkley found Mill in violation of his probation terms for scheduling out-of-town concert dates for this month and next without her permission.

Brinkley also said Mill failed to provide probation officer Treas Underwood with a working phone number, posted disparaging remarks on Twitter about Underwood and Assistant District Attorney Noel Ann DeSantis, was "combative" and "disrespectful" to probation staffers during a May 15 meeting and posed for a picture posted on Instagram holding a gun.

As a convicted felon, Mill is barred from having a gun.

During Friday's hearing, Mill -- who was represented by lawyer Gary Silver -- told Brinkley that he did not mean to be disrespectful to court personnel and asked if he could remain free in order to support his young son, mother and sister.

"Sir, I really didn't want to do this, but you made me do it," said Brinkley, who placed the rapper on probation in 2009 instead of sentencing him to five to 10 years in prison after a gun and drug conviction.

Last year, she ordered Mill to take etiquette classes to improve his behavior, social skills and decorum when communicating on social media.

"I thought you learned something, but obviously you haven't," the judge told Mill.

On Twitter: @MensahDean


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