Young Thug won legal victory over racketeering charge

  • Rapper Young Thug appeared in court Thursday on a racketeering charge against him.
  • On Wednesday, labelmate Gunna pleaded guilty and was released from jail.
  • In court, a judge ruled that prosecutors could not use evidence gathered in 2015 without a search warrant.

Young Thug appeared in Fulton County, Georgia, court for a hearing on Thursday, days after two of his co-defendants reached plea deals, winning a legal victory but not securing pretrial freedom.

The rapper – whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams – appeared in court wearing a black suit, accompanied by two other defendants. Williams was arrested in May for racketeering conspiracy and has remained in pretrial detention since then.

Thursday’s hearing began after hours late and with a naked Zoom bomber, who appeared on the court’s internal video feed, flashing the courtroom with a sign that read “Free Young Thug,” according to the Atlanta. -Constitution Journal.

In a preliminary hearing on Thursday, Williams’ attorney succeeded in preventing Georgia investigators from retaining the cellphones of Williams and other defendants, which were seized during a search of Williams’ home in 2015. Specifically, Williams’ team was successful in convincing Judge Ural Glanville that the evidence prosecutors obtained from Williams’ home during the 2015 raid – including the cellphones – should not be admissible at trial because they were seized without a search warrant.

“You had no right to keep this,” Glanville told prosecutors during the hearing. “You had no right to keep this particular evidence.”

Williams’ lawyers have also asked that lyrics by Williams and other artists on the label not be used as evidence in court, arguing that they are “racist and discriminatory”.

Prosecutors say his record label, YSL, is also an Atlanta street gang called “Young Slime Life” that he helped found and is affiliated with the national Bloods gang.

Williams and 27 others were arrested and charged with various crimes, as prosecutors cracked down on what they described as two rival gangs in the city, YSL and YFN. While some defendants are charged with murder, prosecutors have also charged Williams with illegal possession of firearms, drug trafficking and street racing.

Williams’ attorney Brian Steel told Insider in May that his client was innocent.

“Mr. Williams has committed no violation of the law whatsoever. We will fight this case ethically, legally and with zeal. Mr. Williams will be exonerated.”

Williams’ lawyers have denied the existence of the gang entirely, claiming that YSL is a record company and a loose alliance of artists called “Young Stoner Life”.

YSL label mate Gunna is released on a guilty plea a day before

The hearing comes a day after rapper YSL Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens, pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge and was released from jail. The kitchens pleaded Alford, which is a type of plea agreement whereby the defendant maintains their innocence while entering a guilty plea. He was sentenced to five years in prison, including four years suspended. He was allowed out of jail on Wednesday because his more than six months on remand counted as time served on his one-year prison sentence.

While many social media outlets called Kitchens a snitch, Kitchens said in a statement Wednesday that he had not cooperated with investigators and would not testify at trial.

“Although I have agreed to always tell the truth, I want to make it perfectly clear that I did NOT make a statement, that I was NOT interrogated, that I did NOT cooperate, that I have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party to the trial case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way,” Kitchens said. in a statement after his release, according to WSBTV.

Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Kitchens had agreed in court to testify if invited, according to The New York Times. However, Kitchens attorney Steve Sadow told The Times that his client “reserves the right to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.”

Another YSL defendant, Water Murphy (aka DK) reached a plea deal on Tuesday, prosecutors confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Like Murphy, he pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

According to the AJC, Murphy’s probation included a condition that he would “give honest testimony in any further trial that may become necessary.” Murphy was sentenced to one year in prison and nine years probation. Like Murphy, his seven months on remand counted as time served.

Williams has been asked to return to court for a hearing on December 19, with the trial set to begin on January 9, 2023.

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