Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill's long-running court battle took another turn as he was granted a new trial Wednesday - a development that could lead to an end of his 12-year legal saga.
The decision was handed down by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Now that Mill (whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams) has been granted a new trial, Philadelphia prosecutors could choose to retry the case or drop it altogether.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's office has said it will not call the police officer who was the sole prosecution witness in Mill's trial because of doubts about his credibility.
In a statement, Mill thanked the superior court and said he was "ecstatic that justice prevailed." He also vowed to continue working to "change these outdated laws and fix our broken criminal justice system."
Mike Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia Sixers and a prominent supporter of Mill's, said he was happy the rapper "for the first time in his adult life" is not on probation and has a clean criminal record.
Krasner's office issued its own statement, indicating that it was pleased with the superior court's decision.
"The District Attorney's Office is pleased that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has validated our position that Robert Rihmeek Williams deserves a new trial before a court that has no appearance of partiality," the office said. "The DAO led by District Attorney Larry Krasner is currently reviewing the opinion issued today and will begin to review options."
The rapper was originally sentenced to 11 to 23 months following his conviction on 2007 gun and drug offenses. His non-jury trial featured only one witness for the prosecution, former Philadelphia Police Officer Reginald Graham.
Graham has since been added to a list of Philadelphia police officers who were deemed untrustworthy witnesses by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Graham also was found to have stolen money in a drug bust and lied to the FBI by Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs, according to reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Superior Court noted that none of Graham's history of alleged misconduct was presented at Mill's original trial.
"Williams' right to be tried before an impartial judge is necessary in this case because the trial judge heard highly prejudicial testimony at the first trial, which was a bench trial, and made credibility determinations in favor of a now discredited witness and against Williams," the court said in its ruling.