Attorneys for jailed Meek Mill appeal to Pa. high court

Posted: August 22, 2014

T HE JUDGE who put Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill in jail for probation violations overstepped her authority by trying to transform him in "Pygmalion-like fashion," his attorneys said in an appeal filed with the state Supreme Court.

The appeal followed a hearing Monday during which Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley denied Mill's request to be released early from jail, where he has been serving a three-to-six-month sentence since July 11.

In support of their claim that Brinkley had gone too far, attorneys for the rapper born Robert Williams noted that during an off-the-record discussion, the judge complained that she did not approve of the haircut or clothing Mill had worn on the "Conan O'Brien Show." (The date of the remark was not given.)

"It is obvious that the trial court disapproves of the images and messages that Mr. Williams transmits through social-media posts, but a sentence of probation does not give a court the right to attempt in Pygmalion-like fashion to transform a defendant into the type of person that a court believes . . . he or she should be," the rapper's attorneys wrote.

In addition to reiterating their belief that Mill, 27, did not violate his probation and should not have been jailed, his attorneys attacked Brinkley's Monday order that he complete parenting, anger-management and drug-and-alcohol classes before he is eligible for parole in October.

Brinkley did not see the need to impose those conditions when she sent him to jail, and she has never found that he is a bad parent or has a substance-abuse problem, according to filing.

"Given these facts, it would certainly appear . . . that the trial court imposed these new and unsolicited conditions in an attempt to punish petitioner for seeking relief," read the petition filed by attorneys Dennis Cogan and Christopher Warren.

They asked the state's highest court to either immediately release Mill from jail or assume jurisdiction over the case.

Brinkley found Mill in technical violation of his probation for failing to give his probation officer a working phone number and for traveling out of state without permission, among other violations. He was on probation for a 2008 drug-and-gun conviction.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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