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Meek Mill granted new trial as appeals court tosses conviction

Meek Mill granted a new trial

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday overturned rapper Meek Mill's conviction in a drug and gun case that has kept the rapper on probation for a decade and made him a celebrity crusader for criminal justice reform. The unanimous three-judge opinion granted the rapper a new trial because of new evidence of alleged police corruption and said he would likely be acquitted if the case is retried.

"We conclude the after-discovered evidence is of such a strong nature and character that a different verdict will likely result at a retrial," the opinion said. The Pennsylvania Superior Court also overturned the trial judge's parole violation findings that sent the entertainer back to prison in 2017 for five months, and, in a rare move, pulled her off the case.

Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley had kept the rapper, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, on probation for 10 years over his arrest in 2007 at age 19. He is now 32 and has been called back to court repeatedly over technical violations of his parole, many of them involving travel issues as he has risen to fame under the mentorship of music mogul Jay-Z.

Mill's new record label, Dream Chasers, is a joint venture with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Mill posted about the two new developments in his life on Twitter.

He became a symbol for criminal justice reform after Brinkley sent him back to prison in 2017. "The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I'm ecstatic that justice prevailed," he said in a statement after the court's decision.

In an excerpt of his exclusive interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, Mill spoke about the complications and limitations of life on probation, which included having to get permission to travel.

"Even if it's to the next county over," Mill told King. "If it's out of the city, if you don't ask for permission, you could get the rest of your probation time given to you as jail time legally."

He said he would have to call and get permission to leave Philadelphia and pick up his son, who lived in nearby New Jersey, from school. "I would just want to pop up at my son's school and get him from school. I'd been out of town for two weeks in a row workin'. Can't really do it," Mill told King.

Meek Mill talks life on probation: "I couldn't go get my son from school"

The officer who testified at Mill's trial, Reginald Graham, said Mill pointed a gun at him during the arrest outside his southwest Philadelphia home. Mill has denied pointing a gun at police.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said Wednesday his office needs time to decide whether to drop the case. In court last week, Assistant District Attorney Paul George said the office wouldn't call Graham due it its "legal, ethical and constitutional obligations."

On Thursday morning, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King speaks with Jay-Z and Meek Mill about his newly launched label Dream Chasers, in partnership with Roc Nation. Watch the interview on CBS.

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