Among the 28 members of Young Thug’s YSL crew who were scooped up in the wide-ranging RICO indictment against them was Walter Murphy, who is accused of co-founding YSL as a “hybrid street gang” along with Thug himself. Murphy turned himself in when the indictment went public, appearing in court on Tuesday for a bond hearing in which his lawyer Jacoby Hudson “went off” after the judge denied Murphy bond. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, Hudson condemned the Fulton County DA’s case against his client, blaming it on the high-profile status of its rapper targets.
“The whole case is about Young Thug — Jeffrey Lamar Williams,” he said. “That’s who they want. My client don’t want to talk about Jeffery Williams.” Murphy, who was sent to prison in 2016 for multiple charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2013 and attempted murder involving four different victims in 2015, said he changed while in prison on those offenses. “I spent seven years in prison,” he said. “While I was in prison, you know, I stayed out the way and I just got my GED, completed all my classes.” Hudson says that since then, Murphy has not associated with YSL or engaged in any crimes.
Meanwhile, many observers have criticized Thug’s inclusion in the case as well, as it was reported that the evidence against him was based on his lyrics shouting out YSL — which could mean Young Slime Life, the alleged gang, or Young Stoner Life, his label. Gunna, another rapper on the label, was also accused of being a lieutenant in the alleged gang, despite the evidence largely amounting to mentions in his lyrics. Kevin Liles, the founder of YSL’s parent label 300 Entertainment, posted a petition on Change.org decrying the case and calling for the federalization of so-called “rap on trial” laws that would limit the use of lyrics in criminal investigations.
Both Thug and Gunna are set for trial in 2023 after being denied bond. Presumably, so is Walter Murphy.