The rapper faces extra costs, together with three counts of violating Georgia’s Managed Substances Act, possession of a firearm in the course of the fee of a felony and possession of a machine gun. He has pleaded not responsible to all eight costs. Six defendants, together with Williams, are on trial.
Fulton County Prosecutor Fani T. Willis alleged that Williams was related to a Bloods-affiliated prison avenue gang referred to as Young Slime Life (or YSL). The allegations counsel the artist’s rap lyrics typically use the acronym “YSL” — the initials of Thug’s gang and label, Younger Stoner Life Information — and different alleged prison exercise. Prosecutors plan to make use of the rap lyrics at trial.
Willis used the same RICO law to indict former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants for his or her alleged try to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election.
Adriane Love, the chief assistant district legal professional, gave the opening assertion on behalf of prosecutors Monday, saying Williams and the opposite defendants had participated in gang-related exercise for years.
“YSL meets all the necessities to be a prison avenue gang,” she mentioned.
“Defendant Jeffery Williams was the proclaimed chief,” she mentioned. “YSL, because the details will present, has not moved individually. YSL members and associates moved as a pack, with defendant Jeffery Williams at its head,” Love mentioned.
His opening assertion was minimize quick when Williams’ protection workforce moved for a mistrial, after Love’s presentation linked Williams’ legal professional to a separate case, in opposition to which Decide Glanville had beforehand ordered the cancelation. The protection mentioned it had not seen a number of slides of his PowerPoint presentation, regardless of court docket orders to alternate the paperwork that might be offered. After prolonged discussions, which included additional objections from the protection to parts of the presentation, the movement was denied by Decide Glanville.
Nonetheless, a number of attorneys representing the defendants referred to as out alleged factual errors within the presentation slides of Love’s opening assertion and requested that they be faraway from the case.
The Monday morning delays observe a number of postponements of the trial, which drew nationwide consideration for elevating questions on how rap lyrics could possibly be utilized by prosecutors in authorized disputes.
A number of delays postponed the trial, together with a prolonged jury choice, with some potential jurors having to drop the case resulting from a doubtlessly lengthy timeline, in line with the Associated Press. On November 1, a 12-person jury was chosen for the trial after practically 10 months.
Williams was arrested for the first time on May 9, 2022, and charged alongside 27 others, together with rappers Gunna and Yak Gotti. A number of defendants took plea offers, together with Gunna, an Atlanta rapper whose actual title is Sergio Kitchens and who had a detailed affiliation with Younger Thug.
Prosecutors say Younger Thug, Gunna and different rappers charged within the case alluded to prison conduct by their track lyrics. The protection, together with civil rights attorneys, argued that the lyrics are an instance of free speech and that concentrating on the rap lyrics additionally constitutes an assault on black artwork.
The authorized dispute interrupted Younger Thug’s rising profession, which noticed three of his albums reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. He has been in custody since his arrest in 2022. The rapper, who has collaborated with artists like Drake, Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj, has been nominated for 4 Grammys and received the track for the 12 months in 2019 for his writing work on Infantile Gambino. “That is America.” Williams’ attorneys and the Fulton County District Legal professional’s Workplace didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.
Ben Brasch contributed to this report.