After a grueling nine-month process, jury selection in the trial of rapper Young Thug, whose legal name is Jeffery Williams, will begin this week, according to 11 Alive.
Judge Ural Glanville is expected to begin seating the jury on Wednesday, Nov 1., which was confirmed to 11 Alive by an attorney for Young Thug.
Jury selection in the case, which began in January, has taken an unprecedented amount of time to complete, with attorneys calling it “the longest in Georgia history.”
According to AJC, about 1,200 potential jurors were been summoned, many of whom said they couldn’t afford to miss work for a case that could last nearly a year once the selection process is over.
Williams has remained in jail since his May 2022 arrest.
The Atlanta rapper was arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, citing his participation in street gang activity. Williams and 28 members of his YSL team were named in the indictment, including popular Atlanta rapper Gunna, who was later released.
The charges ranged from murder and attempted armed robbery, to conspiracy to violate the state RICO Act.
Prosecutors labeled YSL, the rapper’s music label, a criminal gang.
Young Thug Health Concerns
In May, Williams was reportedly rushed to the hospital due to his failing health conditions behind bars. He was treated at and released from Grady Hospital in Atlanta.
Williams’ attorney has also been very vocal about his health as he claims his client has been showing signs of declining health while in prison. Some of his hardships have been said to include poor diet options, limited access to exercise in a small jail cell and a lack of available fresh air.
From 11 Alive:
In a motion filed on April 24, Williams’ attorney Brian Steel says the 31-year-old is not able to stay healthy. Steel lists in the motion that Williams has access to limited healthy food options and relies on food with ‘zero health benefits,’ like chocolate and chips.
Steel says Williams has had little access to fresh air and sunlight since May 2022, outside of when he’s transported to and from the courthouse, and exercise is limited because of the small cell.”
Jury Selection A Tall Order
Seating a jury in the Young Thug case and his alleged associates has been anything but easy.
In April, a potential juror in the case was thrown in jail for three days after she was caught filming on her cell phone during court proceedings.
According to AJC, Juror 1004 was put in handcuffs Monday by Chief Judge Ural Glanville, who visibly scolded her for violating his instructions.
“I went through a very long and arduous process of telling people what they could and could not do and you violated that,” Judge Glanville said to the juror.
The court initially thought the juror was live-streaming court proceedings, but when she admitted to filming she said she just recorded a video and deleted it once the juror next to her told her she was in the wrong.
“It wasn’t live-streamed at all,” the potential juror said. “I did take a video and then the young lady next to me said I couldn’t do that.”
When the juror’s phone was confiscated, the video clip was found by deputies in her “recently deleted” folder.
The woman also claimed that she didn’t know she wasn’t allowed to film since it was her first time being summoned to jury duty.
Gunna Released from prison
In December 2022, Atlanta rapper Gunna was released from jail after he pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in the ongoing RICO indictment against fellow rapper Young Thug and several other members of YSL, a record label that prosecutors allege to be a criminal street gang.
According to WSBTV, Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, negotiated an Alford plea deal during his court trial on Wednesday. Under the agreement, a defendant does not have to admit that they committed a crime. However, the defendant must admit that the evidence presented by the prosecution could likely be used to persuade a judge or jury to find them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under the plea deal, the “Pushing “P hitmaker was sentenced to five years with one year to serve in prison. His one-year sentence was commuted to time served, and the remaining sentence was suspended.
Now, Gunna will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, with 350 of those hours speaking to young men and women in the community about the dangers of gangs and gang violence, Fox 5 Atlanta noted.
Threats To Kill Or Harm Witnesses
In July 2022, a motion was granted by Judge Ural Glanville, that forces defense lawyers to withhold witnesses’ contact information from their clients, after prosecutors cited, “numerous threats to kill or harm witnesses.”
Although defense lawyers denied any claims of witness intimidation, prosecutors allege witnesses have said: “that they fear not only for their own lives but for their families’ lives should they testify.”
District Attorney Fani T. Willis, also filed a motion with the court stating that YSL had, “a history of intimidating witnesses.” She also described an incident from the indictment in which a YSL member was accused of attempting to murder two Atlanta police officers.
The post The Young Thug RICO Trial: A Timeline Of Events In The Case appeared first on NewsOne.
The Young Thug RICO Trial: A Timeline Of Events In The Case was originally published on newsone.com
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