Young Thug RICO Trial Begins In Atlanta
Young Thug’s (Jeffery Williams) trial officially began Monday (Nov. 27). The rapper, who has been behind bars since his May 2022 arrest, has been charged with conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and street gang activity under his rap collective YSL (Young Slime Life).
Prior to the beginning of the trial, he was charged alongside 27 other rappers, including Gunna, who was eventually released last December after pleading guilty under the Alford plea. For the impending trial, Thugger and five other defendants, Marquavius Huey, Deamonte Kendrick (known as Yak Gotti), Quamarvious Nichols, Rodalius Ryan, and Shannon Stillwell have all pleaded not guilty. They have been accused of YSL being a street gang that has been involved in robberies, murder, murder, assault, theft, illegal gun possession, and illegal drug possession and sales in Atlanta since 2012, according to Pitchfork.
Opening statements from Fulton County Chief Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love said that Young Thug is the leader of YSL and was dubbed “King Slime,” by his associates.
“They created a crater in the middle of Fulton County’s Cleveland Avenue community that sucked in the youth, the innocence, and even the lives of some of its youngest members,” Love said per CNN.
The judge has also allowed the controversial decision to use Young Thug’s rap lyrics as evidence. “We didn’t chase any lyrics to solve any murders,” Love said of the current debate on whether to use rap lyrics in trials, per Billboard.
The first day of the trial also had some delays with jurors and a “heated exchange” between the prosecutors and Thugger’s defense attorney, Brian Steel. Steel asked for a mistrial, which was dismissed by the judge. Thugger’s attorney told CNN that his client has “committed no crime whatsoever.”
A trial as complex as this could take as long as a year. If a jury finds Young Thug guilty, he could face years in prison.