Lawyers for the imprisoned Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill filed a motion for parole Wednesday in their continuing effort to stop the financial damage to his concert and recording career.
Since he was sent to prison on July 11, Mill - real name Robert Williams - has missed at least two concert dates and his recording company has warned that his continuing imprisonment could endanger the Sept. 9 release of his next album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.
The motion, filed in Common Pleas Court by attorney Dennis J. Cogan, asks for Williams' immediate release and maintains that he did not violate probation.
On July 11, Judge Genece E. Brinkley found the 27-year-old Williams in violation of his probation from a 2009 drug and gun case and sentenced him to three to six months in prison followed by a new five-year term of probation.
Brinkley's main reason was that she said Williams ignored her order at a May 9 hearing not to schedule any concerts or appearances between July 11 and Aug. 11.
When Williams and his attorney came to the hearing on July 11, Williams confirmed that he had a concert that night in Washington and others booked through the end of the year.
The judge accused Williams of "thumbing his nose" at her probation and he was taken immediately into custody.
In the parole motion, Cogan wrote that the July 11 concert had been booked well in advance of the May 9 hearing, so Williams had not violated the terms of the judge's order.
Cogan wrote that Williams had also apologized for tweeting disrespectful comments regarding his probation officer and the prosecutor, another reason the judge cited for revoking probation.
The motion argued that Williams' imprisonment impairs not just his career and ability to provide for his family but makes it harder for "numerous other people to make a living during very difficult economic times."
Cogan has argued that Williams has not committed another crime since he was on probation and "is not a danger to society."
Cogan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Noel Ann DeSantis, who has said she opposes early release, said she will file a response later this week. There is no indication when Brinkley might schedule a hearing.
Last Thursday, Williams' lawyers filed an emergency habeas corpus petition seeking the rapper's immediate release or release on bail, pending resolution of his legal problems.
Though state law requires such petitions to be heard within three days, Williams' lawyers have said Brinkley said she could not hear any petition before September.