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Meek Mill Denied New Trial by Controversial Judge

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Meek Mill performs onstage at the STAPLES Center Concert Sponsored by SPRITE during the 2018 BET Experience on June 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ser Baffo/Getty Images for BET)

Meek Mill is out of jail, but his case is not over. And the latest development is not a good one: According to TMZ and local media, he’s been denied a new trial, after a petition he made for one earlier this year. The decision was handed down by Judge Genece Brinkley, who has been widely criticized for her handling of the Philly rapper’s case.

Brinkley’s decision is especially notable given the fact that Philadelphia’s district attorney—ie. the office that would be prosecuting Meek—has openly stated its belief that he should be granted a new trial. Meek’s team filed its new trial petition based on the fact that the arresting officer is accused of corruption, including allegedly lying to secure Meek’s conviction. D.A. Larry Krasner, who was elected on a platform of criminal justice reform after Meek’s original conviction, has said he has questions about whether the conviction was proper.

“After an in-depth review of the record, court history, notes of testimony, and evidence submitted at the evidentiary hearing, this court hereby denies defendant’s petition for PCRA relief as defendant failed to meet his burden of proof,” Brinkley wrote in her ruling this week.

The judge has been criticized based on the two-to-four-year sentence she gave Meek last year, for a probation violation connected to the decade-old charges. Meek’s team has claimed that she has a personal vendetta against him, and Page Six reported last year that she the subject of an FBI probe. The rapper’s lawyers filed a recusal motion in December that pointed to comments Brinkley made in court during her nine years of overseeing his case as evidence that she has an extrajudicial interest in his life and affairs. That motion was denied last month.

According to Page Six, Brinkley is accused of pressuring Meek to drop his management team in favor of a local manager, and of asking him to record a new version of a Boyz II Men and include a shoutout of her name in the lyrics. Meek’s recusal motion includes a reference to an instance in which she expressed disappointment in him based on an unfavorable comparison to Jay-Z. “Talk about your fans being disappointed, how about me?” she said in part. “How about me after doing all I’ve done for you over all these years trying to help you have a career and to move your career forward? Because I said you know what? He has the ability to be like Jay-Z. He has the ability to make Jay-Z’s kind of money.”

Meek was released on bail in April, pending a new trial. His team is expected to appeal this latest decision.

Update (6/28): TMZ is reporting that Meek’s team has appealed Brinkley’s decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and is asking for Brinkley to be removed from the case. In legal documents, Meeks lawyers argue that Brinkley has “acted like a prosecutor, not a judge.”