American rapper Meek Mill has received a sentence of two to four years in prison after the hip hop rapper violated his probation from arrests earlier in the year.
Born Robert Williams, was arrested in March following a fight at a St. Louis airport, although those charges were dropped. Meek Mill also pleaded guilty to reckless driving in October after he posted videos of himself doing wheelies on a dirt bike in New York City.
Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley, who has previously overseen matters relating to Meek Mill’s probation, deemed both arrests a violation of the rapper’s probation before sentencing him to two to four years in a state prison, Philly.com reports.
In a statement, JAY-Z, who runs Roc Nation, the management company that Mill is signed with, called the sentence “unjust and heavy handed.”
“We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career.”
The sentence came as a surprise even as prosecutors recommended that he should not be punished as he has been off drugs since January and complied with most terms of his probation.
JAY-Z also wrote in the Facebook post:
“The sentence handed down by the Judge — against the recommendation of the Assistant District Attorney and Probation Officer — is unjust and heavy handed. We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career.”
Meek Mill was originally given five years of parole for the 2008 gun and drug charges and has violated his probation numerous times. Judge Genece E Brinkley, who has overseen the case from the start, told Mill “I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court.”
During a hearing in 2013, Brinkley ordered Mill to take etiquette lessons after the rapper complained about court staff in internet posts.
In 2016, he was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest.