Listen to Young Thug’s trial live on Law&Crime
The racketeering trial of chart-topping rapper Young Thug is underway. Listen to it live on SiriusXM’s Law&Crime channel every weekday from 10 am-5 pm ET through the end of the trial.
About the Young Thug Trial
The trial, originally estimated to last a year, has been fraught with legal complexities, courtroom dramas, and various delays, leading to a 10-month-long jury selection process. The case explores whether Young Thug – born Jeffery Williams – led a violent criminal enterprise spanning alleged crimes from 2015 to 2022.
Prosecutors allege that Young Thug’s Young Slime Life (YSL) is a subset of the Bloods, orchestrating crimes including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, witness intimidation, and drug dealing. YSL, they argue, is a criminal street gang moving under Williams’ command, seeking dominance and control through illegal activities in Atlanta.
However, the defence contends that YSL is merely a successful record label, Young Stoner Life, now under Warner Music Group, and a group of friends and collaborators projecting a gangster image in their music and videos due to tough life circumstances and market demand.
During opening statements, Adriane Love, chief deputy district attorney for Fulton County, portrayed YSL as moving “like a pack, with the defendant Jeffery Williams as its head.” The prosecution seeks to establish YSL’s criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities.
In contrast, Williams’ primary lawyer, Brian Steel, framed his client as an artist who refused to abandon his community, being exploited by individuals now testifying against him. Steel emphasized that Williams is not running a criminal street gang and is not responsible for the actions of others.
Young Thug, 32, is a well-known figure in modern Atlanta rap, known for his experimental style and collaborations with top artists. He founded YSL in 2012. The case revolves around the 2015 killing of Donovan Thomas Jr., allegedly linked to YSL.
While not directly charged with Thomas’s murder, prosecutors claim Williams helped arrange it. Additional charges include gun and drug-related offences. If convicted on all counts, Young Thug faces up to 120 years in prison.
Five individuals – Marquavius Huey, Deamonte Kendrick, Quamarvious Nichols, Rodalius Ryan, and Shannon Stillwell – stand trial with Williams. Out of the original 28 defendants, 13 had their cases separated, and nine pleaded guilty. The trial’s lengthy duration is attributed to the complex web of events, potential witnesses, and the challenge of proving a criminal enterprise under the Georgia RICO statute.
Controversially, the judge ruled that lyrics from Young Thug’s music could be used as evidence. Prosecutors argue the lyrics, along with other evidence like tattoos and slang, show YSL’s existence as a criminal enterprise.
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From high-profile cases to the most compelling local trials, Law&Crime is the leading network featuring multiple live trials daily, along with expert legal commentary and analysis. Created by TV’s top legal commentator and attorney, Dan Abrams, Law&Crime is dedicated to exploring the always intriguing world of the law while also offering original crime stories and legal programs to a broad, multi-platform audience.