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Young Thug’s YSL RICO Trial: Everything To Know Including Updates, Charges, Lawyers & More

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The Young Thug/YSL RICO trial has officially begun. On Monday, November 27, the trial kicked off after months of delays with the opening statement from the prosecution, which was delivered by Fulton County Chief Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love. Love reiterated the state’s assertion that Young Thug — real name Jeffery Williams — was the leader of a criminal street gang, Young Slime Life, operating under the cover of a record label. The evidence against him largely comes in the form of lyrics from his hit songs, prompting a public outcry over the use of art as evidence.

Here is everything you need to know about Young Thug’s RICO trial.

What Are The Updates In Young Thug’s YSL RICO Trial?

So far, only the prosecution’s opening statement has been given, although Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, moved for a mistrial after Love presented evidence during the statement that had already been banned. Judge Ural Glanville denied the motion but did warn the state to play things by the book from here on out. Attorneys for Young Thug’s codefendants also argued that Love’s statement attempted to shift the burden of proof from the state to the defense, which goes against trial protocol (the burden of proof always rests on the prosecution).

Only one defense attorney presented an opening statement, while the rest are due to do so on Tuesday, November 28.

What Is Young Thug Charged With In The YSL RICO Trial?

Young Thug was accused of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and participating in criminal street gang activity in the original indictment, which named 28 members of YSL including Gunna, Yak Gotti, and Unfook, Young Thug’s brother. After a raid on his home, additional charges of possession of illegal firearms and possession of drugs with intent to distribute were added with gang enhancements, making for a total of eight charges.

Thug’s codefendants, including Marquavius Huey (known as Qua), Deamonte Kendrick (Yak Gotti), Quamarvious Nichols, Rodalius Ryan, and Shannon Stillwell, are all also charged with violating the RICO law. Kendrick, Nichols, and Stillwell are charged with murder. 13 of the original 28 defendants had their cases separated, while nine, including Gunna and Unfoonk, pled guilty to violations of RICO and were released on suspended sentences with time served.

Who Is Young Thug’s Lawyer In The YSL RICO Trial?

Young Thug is being represented by veteran Georgia defense attorney Brian Steel. Steel was recently named one of Billboard‘s Top Music Lawyers, and handles “cases ranging from RICO, wire fraud, immigration fraud and money laundering to murder, armed robbery, drug offenses,” and more, according to his firm’s website.

Who Are The Prosecutors In The YSL RICO Trial?

Fani Taifa Willis is the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, the first woman to hold the office. She’s made it a point to go after Atlanta gangs, but first rose to prominence for her 2021 investigation of former Oval Office holder Donald Trump, which resulted in 19 indictments earlier this year. Her actions also prompted Trump to make some truly wild claims about the public servant, who shot them down in short order. Willis has drawn criticism for using lyrics as evidence in Young Thug’s case, with detractors arguing that it constitutes a racist understanding of hip-hop and rap (despite Willis also being Black).

How Long Will Young Thug’s YSL RICO Trial Last?

The trial is expected to run up to nine months (with six defendants, which isn’t unusual). After the jury selection process lasted nearly 10 due to various disruptions and delays, don’t be surprised if it takes even longer.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.