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Meek Mill lawyers want judge off the case, call hearing 'a farce'

 

Meek Mill lawyers want judge off the case, call hearing 'a farce'
Meek Mill lawyers want judge off the case, call hearing 'a farce'

Lawyers for jailed rapper Meek Mill asked the judge who sent him there to take herself off the case Tuesday, court records show.

They want a new judge to reconsider Judge Genece Brinkley’s decision to send Mill to state prison for probation violations for up to four years.

The legal tactics followed a protest Monday outside the courthouse. Brinkley sent Mill, 30, to prison Nov. 6.

“Last week's hearing was a farce. It was a miscarriage of justice that lacked any semblance of fairness,” said Mill’s Philadelphia-based lawyer Brian McMonagle.

“Today we have asked this judge to step aside and allow another jurist to right this wrong and bring this man home to his friends and family.”

Mill, born Robert Williams, is in solitary confinement and locked in his cell 23 hours a day.

Mill’s lawyer Joe Tacopina said Monday he will appeal to a higher court if Brinkley rejects the motions.

Mill, who had been on probation for almost a decade, was arrested in March after he got into a fight in a St. Louis airport.

In August, he was charged in New York with popping wheelies on a dirt bike and failing to wear a helmet. Those charges were dismissed.

Brinkley said the rapper also failed a drug test and claimed he didn’t get her OK to leave Pennsylvania.

“I’ve been trying to help you since 2009,” Brinkley told Mill in court recently. “You basically thumbed your nose at me.”

Even though the prosecutor and the probation officer recommended no jail time, Brinkley ignored them. Mill's lawyers allege she came up with additional allegations "from the judge's own memory" and by looking on social media.

She also personally visited a community service site where Mill was serving the homeless in 2016 a highly unusual move. That move made her into a witness in the same case she was presiding over.

"Brinkley repeatedly offered inappropriate personal and professional advice to the defendant," the motion said.

Protestors rally at the Free Meek Mill Rally at the Criminal Justice Center.

(Ricky Fitchett/ZUMAPRESS.com)

In February 2016, Brinkley invited the rapper and then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj into chambers without their lawyers and suggested he record a cover of a Boys II Men song and mention the judge. Mill refused, and Brinkley replied, "Suit yourself."

They accused her of trying to keep those statements off the record so they couldn't challenge her on them. Part of that involved encouraging Mill to go back to his old manager.

"Brinkley has repeatedly suggested to him that he break his contract with Roc Nation and return to his prior management with Charlie Mack," the motion said.

Brinkley also made a series of personal comments at Mill. "Talk about you fans being disappointed, how about me?" she said in 2014. "How about me after doing all I've done for you?"

On Nov. 6, she said he could be "greater than Jay-Z," and claimed she noticed that potential "back in 2009."

"Unfortunately, that defendant has really disappointed this court," she said.

Overall, the lawyers argued, "Each of the instances reveal a pattern of extrajudicial, personal and injudicious conduct … warranting the recusal."

Gabe Roberts, a courts spokesman, said neither Brinkley nor the court system would comment because it‘s a matter subject to future litigation. Meanwhile, Tacopina declined to comment on reports that the FBI was probing Brinkley’s handling of the case. TMZ reported allegations that the judge tried to strong-arm Mill into leaving Roc Nation for music manager Charlie Mack.

The FBI declined comment.

A 2014 transcript shows an exchange between the judge and the prosecutor Noel DeSantis in which it emerges that Brinkley allowed Mill to meet with Mack even though he is a convicted felon, TMZ reported.

Such a meeting would have violated Mill’s terms of probation without the judge’s waiver.

"Your Honor, (Meek’s) not supposed to be around anyone who is under supervision and be around known felons. Your Honor made an exception back in the day with the management to Mr. Mac,” according to the transcript obtained by TMZ. “That was the only exception that you made.”

With Victoria Bekiempis

Tags:
meek mill
pennsylvania
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