Young Thug slams Andre 3000
Rapper Young Thug's long-awaited trial continued in an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom following a prison stabbing.
The trial is plagued by delays. In May 2022, Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, was arrested and charged in an extensive RICO indictment along with 27 other defendants.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — who is using the same law to prosecute Donald Trump in the Georgia election meddling case — accused the suspects of being part of a criminal street gang called YSL, or “Young Slime Life.” .
According to prosecutors, the gang is responsible for multiple violent crimes, including murders, shootings, carjackings and extortion.
Young Thug denies the allegations and insists that YSL is just his record label – Young Stoner Life.
The trial was undoubtedly difficult. On Sunday, Shannon Stillwell, a YSL co-defendant, was stabbed “multiple times” in prison by a fellow inmate. Mr. Stillwell is in stable condition, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office said.
In mid-December, the judge issued a ruling ordering that Mr. Stilwell be housed separately from his co-defendants in light of the stabbing. The case resumes on January 2.
Was the case controversial?
The use of lyrics by rappers associated with YSL and Young Thug in the case has been an ongoing point of contention.
Earlier this month, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville ruled he would allow prosecutors to introduce 17 sets of lyrics as long as they can show the lyrics relate to crimes the rapper and other defendants are accused of committing.
Defense attorneys had asked the judge to exclude them, arguing that the lyrics are constitutionally protected speech and would be unfairly prejudicial.
“The question is not rap lyrics. The question is gang lyrics,” said District Attorney Mike Carlson during a preliminary hearing. “These are partisan admissions. They just happen to come in the form of lyrics.”
Mr. Carlson had argued that First Amendment speech protections do not apply because the defendants are not being prosecuted for their lyrics. Instead, he said, the verses refer to the criminal act or criminal intent associated with the charges.
Another prosecutor, Simone Hylton, also divided the lyrics into three categories: those that prove the existence of YSL as a business, those that show the behavior and actions of the gang, and those that show that Young Thug is the leader of the gang.
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 3, 2024 09:00
ICYMI: Young Thug's sweater that made social media buzz
Social media is buzzing over a now-sold-out wolf sweater that Young Thug wore to his Georgia trial — days after prosecutors described him as the head of a wolf pack.
The rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is in court in Fulton County, Georgia, to fight gang and racketeering charges in connection with what DA Fani Willis and prosecutors say is a violent street gang that he founded and it is called Young Slime Life (YSL). . He and 27 other defendants face RICO charges and have been charged separately with other violations. Mr Williams has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Last month, Mr. Williams arrived in court wearing an Amiri sweater with a wolf, according to WSBTV. The sweater retails for $1,090 and was on sale for $595 as of Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, the sweater appeared to be out of stock on the Amiri website.
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 3, 2024 06:00
What is RICO?
RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is a state law in Georgia based on a 1970 federal law that allows for the prosecution of alleged criminal organizations.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis explained at a news conference after the 2022 indictment: “RICO is a tool that allows a prosecution and law enforcement to tell the whole story. We use it as a tool so they have all the information they need to make a wise decision.”
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 3, 2024 03:00
What does “soft” mean?
Mr. Steel, Mr. Williams' lawyer, pointed out that his client had two big musical influences growing up: Lil Wayne and Tupac. Tupac famously defined ‘THUG LIFE' as ‘The Hate You Give Little Infants F***s Everyone'.
“That's not what ‘tramp' meant to Jeffrey,” Mr. Steele said, offering a different definition: “Truly humble before God.”
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 3, 2024 00:00
Court recesses for the day
After a day of hearing many witnesses, the court adjourned.
The judge said court would resume tomorrow at 9.30am.
Kelly Riesman2 January 2024 23:00
Cross-examination of Officer Cogdell
After a series of breaks, the defense cross-examines Mr. Cogdell, who testified about an alleged incident involving defendant Shannon Stillwell.
Mr. Stillwell's lawyer, Mr. Schardt, clarified that Mr. Cogdell did not know who his client was when he saw him driving.
Mr. Schardt described his client's “bouncing” in the car, as the witness testified earlier, as simply playing music in his car. the officer said he had seen a seat belt violation, which prompted him to pursue Mr. Stilwell's vehicle.
The lawyer also asked if the person Mr Stillwell is accused of pressuring reported the incident. the officer said he didn't.
Mr. Schardt also asked about the car, which was a rental, and the gun that was found, which was never reported stolen.
“Is it your conclusion that Mr. Stilwell acted alone?” Mr. Cogdell replied, “Yes.”
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 2, 2024 10:21 p.m
Social media users are wondering what's under Young Thug's sweater
A bulky object appeared under the rapper's blue turtleneck with a white wire trailing, sparking speculation on social media as to whether there was a heating pad underneath or something else.
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 2, 2024 9:50 p.m
Recap: Shannon Stillwell stabs
On December 10, Mr Stillwell was stabbed while in custody at Rice Street Jail.
A fight broke out between a fellow inmate and Mr Stilwell — but it was not clear what led to the fight. Mr. Stilwell was “stabbed multiple times by Brown” and Stilwell is in stable condition, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office said.
Following the incident, the inmate was charged with aggravated assault and possession of prohibited items in connection with the knife,
According to the indictment, Mr. Stilwell faces eight counts, including conspiracy to violate the RICO Act and two counts of murder. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 2, 2024 21:12
Young Thug's trial is back. Here's what you need to know:
The YSL members named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy to violate Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The act is similar to its federal counterpart, which is used to convict large-scale organizations such as the Mafia.
According to the indictment, associates of YSL “conspired to cooperate together and with others for the common purposes of unlawfully obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
It alleges that YSL members engaged in murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, drug trafficking, carjacking and witness intimidation.
Other activities include “posting messages, images, videos and songs, showing loyalty to the business and being willing to engage in violence on its behalf.”
Prosecutors claim they can show some of the group's lyrics relate to crimes they are accused of committing.
Through these activities and more, the gang aimed to “maintain, protect and enhance the reputation, power and territory” of the business, prosecutors said.
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 2, 2024 8:56 p.m
Confused about some of the terms used in the YSL test?
Perhaps the most viral moments from the trial so far consisted of the unusual terminology and references used.
From ‘pushin P' to ‘SLATT', here's a guide to the most important – and complicated – words and phrases so far:
Kelly RiesmanJanuary 2, 2024 8:35 p.m