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Young Thug trial resumes with scuffle over YSL case witnesses – live updates

The hotly-anticipated trial of the rapper Young Thug is underway in a courtroom in Atlanta, Georgia, following almost a year of delays.

In May 2022, Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, was arrested and charged in a sprawling RICO indictment along with 27 other defendants.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis – who is using the same law to prosecute Donald Trump in his Georgia election interference case – accused the suspects of being part of a criminal street gang named YSL or “Young Slime Life.”

According to prosecutors, the gang is responsible for a series of violent crimes, including murders, shootings, carjackings and racketeering.

Young Thug has denied the accusations and insisted that YSL is simply Young Thug’s record label – Young Stoner Life.

After several defendants took plea deals or had their cases severed, the Grammy Award-winning rapper and five others are finally on trial.

Week two of the trial began Monday after a three-day recess. Court kicked off with a thirty-minute scuffle between the parties about the prosecution’s witness list.

Last week, Young Thug’s lawyer explained the meaning behind several of the rapper’s lyrics – after prosecutors claimed the lyrics are central to the case.

This included claiming the word thug means “truly humble under God”. His courtroom performance has since gone viral on social media.

Key points

ICYMI: Who testified on Monday to kick off the second week of Young Thug’s trial?

14:00 , Katie Hawkinson

In case you missed it, here’s the recap of who testified on Monday, kicking off the second week of Young Thug’s trial:

Officer Antonio Skeete, who testified about an allegedly stolen gun taken during a burglary in 2013. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, is accused of theft by receiving stolen property, according to the indictment.

Officer Wellington Clarke, who testified about his involvemnet in the investigation as a crime scene technician.

Sergeant Carlos Maldonado, who testified about a 2017 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Quamarvious Nichols, another defendant in this case. Mr Maldonado said he found substances suspected to be MDMA and Xanax after searching the vehicle. Mr Maldonado’s appearance as a witness on Monday was initially contested by the defence after they claimed they could not cross-examine him about the subject of his testimony ahead of time.

Sergeant Charles Ross, who testified about his investigations into the social media activity of Mr Nichols and his subsequent arrest of Mr Nichols in 2018. His body camera footage was played in court. Mr Ross also told the court he had knowledge of hand signs and graffiti tags that indicated association with YSL in the zone he patrolled for the Atlanta Police Department.

ICYMI: Prosecution, defense began week two of trial with spat over witness list

13:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Young Thug’s defence team called on Judge Ural Glanville to stop prosecutors from calling certain witnesses. His attorneys claimed they were not given enough time to prepare over the weekend after the prosecution added additional witnesses on Sunday evening.

“Yesterday evening, for God’s sake,” Keith Adams, a member of the defence, said to Judge Ural Glanville.

The prosecution had an original list of 70 and sent a list of 17 additional people on Sunday evening, the defence said.

The prosecution said the defence had enough time and offered to bring certain witnesses to the defence on Monday to give them more time to cross-examine.

Judge Glanville said he was not included on any email exchanges about witnesses after Friday. He warned the prosecution that excluding witnesses would not be out of the question.

“Exclusion would not be a far-reaching remedy for me at this point,” Judge Glanville said. “We’ve spent 30 minutes on this issue that I can’t get back.”

“I don’t want to deal with it again,” he continued.

ICYMI: Young Thug’s court attire on Monday raised questions

12:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The sweater Young Thug wore to court on Monday featured a design of a wolf on the front, which had some questioning whether the outfit choice was an intentional reference to the first day of the trial.

Young Thug in court on Monday, 4 December, wearing a sweater with a wolf design. (Law & Crime Trial Network)
Young Thug in court on Monday, 4 December, wearing a sweater with a wolf design. (Law & Crime Trial Network)

During opening statements last week, the prosecution referenced a wolf and claimed Young Thug is the “head of the pack.” Now, viewers on social media are speculating whether the choice references those comments.

Young Thug’s girlfriend, Mariah the Scientist, told reporter Michael Seiden the choice was “pure coincidence.”

Why is Young Thug on trial?

11:00 , Kelly Rissman

Young Thug and the other 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 organisations such as the mafia.

According to the indictment, associates of YSL “conspired to associate together and with others for the common purposes of illegally obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity”.

It claims that YSL members were involved in murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, drug dealing, carjacking, and witness intimidation.

Other activities include “the posting of messages, images, videos and songs, demonstrating allegiance to the enterprise and willingness to engage in violence on its behalf”.

Prosecutors claim they can show that some of the group’s lyrics are related to crimes that they are accused of committing.

Through these activities and more the gang aimed to “preserve, protect, and enhance the reputation, power and territory” of the enterprise, prosecutors said.

ICYMI: Young Thug defence lawyer went viral last week

09:00 , Rachel Sharp

Last week, Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel explained the meaning behind several of the rapper’s lyrics – after prosecutors claimed the lyrics are central to the case.

This included claiming the word thug means “truly humble under God”.

“He insisted everybody call him Young Thug… and that fit into the appearance of the gangster rap. But most people think about a thug as a criminal. But to Jeffrey, Thug had a different meaning,” he said.

His courtroom performance has since gone viral on social media.

What to know about YSL as week two of the trial continues

07:00 , Kelly Rissman

YSL is Young Thug’s own record label, Young Slime Life. Artists on his record label are considered part of the “Slime Family,” and a compilation album, “Slime Language 2,” rose to number one on the US charts in April 2021.

Its artists include Gunna and Lil Keed, though several contemporary artists, including Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, and Travis Scott have also expressed allegiance to YSL without being contractually signed.

However, according to prosecutors, YSL is actually a “criminal street gang”, which started out in the Cleveland Avenue area of Atlanta and claims affiliation to the national Bloods gang.

According to the 88-page indictment, the members of YSL use “a variety of identifiers including colours, clothing, tattoos, and hand signs” to show their allegiance to the group.

The most predominant colours used by members of YSL are red for Bloods and green for Slime.

Defence attorneys meanwhile insist that YSL is just a music label.

How long was Young Thug incarcerated before the trial began?

05:00 , Kelly Rissman

Young Thug has been in prison since his arrest in May 2022.

Earlier this month, a jury was finally selected after almost one year – with over 2,000 people having been summoned to possibly serve.

The trial, expected to last several months, could end up being the longest in Georgia’s history, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

ICYMI: State called contested witness Sergeant Carlos Maldonado to testify

03:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The prosecution called Sergeant Carlos Maldonado with the Atlanta Police Department to the stand.

He testified about a 2017 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Quamarvious Nichols, a defendant in this case. Mr Maldonado said he found substances suspected to be MDMA and Xanax after searching the vehicle.

Mr Nichols is charged with posession of MDMA with intent to distribute, posession of a firearm by a felon, and participation in criminal street gang activity, according to the indictment.

Mr Maldonado told the defence he did not reference any gang activity in his report and did not arrest Mr Nichols in relation to any gang activity.

When the defence asked if he would have reported gang activity if he observed it, Mr Maldonado said he would have.

Mr Maldonado was one of the contested witnesses in the Monday morning dispute over the witness list.

The defence told Judge Ural Glanville they had the opportunity to cross-examine Mr Maldonado but their conversation did not cover the subject of his testimony today. The defence said they asked the prosecution to interview him again, but they offered a time on short notice during which a member of the defence team was not available.

ICYMI: Officer Morris Kandakai, who had a scuffle with another defendant earlier this year, took the stand

02:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The prosecution called Officer Morris Kandakai to the stand. He worked for the Atlanta Police Department 2012-2015 and currently works for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.

He testified about a 15 July 2015 traffic stop involving defendants Trontavious Stephens and Shannon Stillwell. The incident is listed in the indictment. Mr Kandakai told prosecutors he found marijuana, a digital scale, a firearm, and prescribed hydrocodone. He said Mr Stephens attempted to claim the items.

Mr Stillwell’s attorney also cross-examined Mr Kandakai, who said he did not find any gang paraphernalia in the car. Mr Kandakai previously said he was not tasked with investigating gang activity but that he was aware of some activity in the area.

Mr Kandakai was suspended and placed on administrative duties in January following a scuffle with another defendant in this case, Rodalius Ryan, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Juror excused until at least Wednesday due to hospital stay

01:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Judge Ural Glanville announced Monday morning that a juror was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. He excused the juror until Wednesday due to their illness.

Judge Glanville told Young Thug’s lawyers there are alternate jurors so the trial will move forward.

This isn’t the first time the jury has been a matter of discussion in the courtroom. On Wednesday, a media camera mistakenly panned across the jury as a witness made their way to the stand to testify. The footage showed parts of at least two jurors’ faces. Judge Glanville warned the media to be careful, but acknowledged the incident ”wasn’t intentional.”

Your guide to the YSL trial lingo

00:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The first week of the trial was off to a rocky start, plagued by a motion for mistrial, frequent objections, numerous sidebars, and chaos after jurors’ faces were accidentally captured on camera.

As week two begins, things aren’t much better — Monday morning started off with a 30-minute spat between the defence and prosecution regarding the witness list.

But perhaps the most viral moments from the trial so far have consisted of the unusual terminology and references being used.

Here’s a guide to the most important - and perplexing - words and phrases so far:

Young Thug trial resumes with scuffle over YSL case witnesses – live updates

Who testified on Monday, kicking off week two of Young Thug's trial?

Monday 4 December 2023 23:00 , Katie Hawkinson

In case you missed it, here’s the recap of who testified on Monday, kicking off the second week of Young Thug’s trial:

Officer Antonio Skeete, who testified about an allegedly stolen gun taken during a burglary in 2013. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, is accused of theft by receiving stolen property, according to the indictment.

Officer Wellington Clarke, who testified about his involvemnet in the investigation as a crime scene technician.

Sergeant Carlos Maldonado, who testified about a 2017 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Quamarvious Nichols, another defendant in this case. Mr Maldonado said he found substances suspected to be MDMA and Xanax after searching the vehicle. Mr Maldonado’s appearance as a witness on Monday was initially contested by the defence after they claimed they could not cross-examine him about the subject of his testimony ahead of time.

Sergeant Charles Ross, who testified about his investigations into the social media activity of Mr Nichols and his subsequent arrest of Mr Nichols in 2018. His body camera footage was played in court. Mr Ross also told the court he had knowledge of hand signs and graffiti tags that indicated association with YSL in the zone he patrolled for the Atlanta Police Department.

Court ends for the day

Monday 4 December 2023 22:24 , Katie Hawkinson

Court proceedings have finished for Monday, 4 December.

Young Thug’s trial is expected to continue Tuesday, 5 December around 10 AM local time.

Sergeant Charles Ross says he knew of signs that indicate YSL association but there were none at scene of arrest

Monday 4 December 2023 21:51 , Katie Hawkinson

Sergeant Charles Ross told the court he had knowledge of hand signs and graffiti tags that indicated association with YSL in the zone he patrolled for the Atlanta Police Department.

When the defence cross-examined him, Mr Ross said none of these signs were present at the scene of Quamarvious Nichols’ 2018 arrest, however.

Mr Ross told prosecutors Mr Nichols had posted the word “slime” on Instagram, which he said he had also seen graffitied.

This is relevant to the prosecution’s claim at the heart of this case that YSL is a violent street gang called Young Slime Life. The defense claims YSL is, instead, just the name of Young Thug’s record label: Young Stoner Life

Sergeant Charles Ross body camera footage played in court

Monday 4 December 2023 21:03 , Katie Hawkinson

Body camera footage from Sergeant Charles Ross’s encounter with co-defendant Quamarvious Nichols in October 2018 is playing in court.

The footage shows Mr Ross and fellow officers detaining — but not arresting — multiple people at the scene. Mr Nichols was the only one arrested.

Mr Ross said he launched an investigation after he saw a video of Mr Nichols holding a bag of apparent marijuana on Instagram earlier in the evening.

He then located and arrested Mr Nichols before searching the vehicles on the scene for marijuana, Mr Ross told the court earlier. Before the footage was played, Mr Ross said he found marijuana, containers consistent with intent to distribute, and firearms in one of the vehicles.

Mr Nichols is charged with posession of a firearm by a convicted felon, an act the prosecution claims furthered the alleged conspiracy by members of YSL, according to the indictment.

Sergeant Charles Ross takes witness stand

Monday 4 December 2023 20:17 , Katie Hawkinson

Sergeant Charles Ross with the Atlanta Police Department took to the witness stand Monday afternoon to discuss his investigations into the social media activity of one of Young Thug’s co-defendants.

Mr Ross said he knew co-defendant Quamarvious Nichols from his Instagram account, believed to belong to him because of images and videos of him posted to the page. Mr Ross said he launched an investigation after he saw a video of Mr Nichols holding a bag of apparent marijuana on the account in October 2018.

He then located and arrested Mr Nichols before searching the vehicles on the scene for marijuana, Mr Ross told the court. Mr Ross said he found marijuana, containers consistent with intent to distribute, and firearms in one of the vehicles.

Mr Nichols is charged with posession of a firearm by a convicted felon, an act the prosecution claims furthered the alleged conspiracy by members of YSL, according to the indictment.

Sergeant Carlos Maldonado tells defence he did not reference any gang activity in co-defendant arrest

Monday 4 December 2023 19:38 , Katie Hawkinson

Sergeant Carlos Maldonado, who arrested co-defendant Quamarvious Nichols in 2017, told the defence he did not reference any gang activity in his report and did not arrest Mr Nichols in relation to any gang activity.

When the defence asked if he would have reported gang activity if he observed it, Mr Maldonado said he would have.

The indictment states Mr Nichols is charged with criminal street gang activity alongside his drug possession and firearm posession charges from the 2017 traffic stop.

Young Thug’s court attire on Monday raises questions

Monday 4 December 2023 19:25 , Katie Hawkinson

Young Thug’s sweater, which features a design of a wolf on the front, has some questioning whether the outfit choice is an intentional reference to the first day of the trial.

Young Thug in court on Monday, 4 December, wearing a sweater with a wolf design. (Law & Crime Trial Network)
Young Thug in court on Monday, 4 December, wearing a sweater with a wolf design. (Law & Crime Trial Network)

During opening statements last week, the prosecution referenced a wolf and claimed Young Thug is the “head of the pack.” Now, viewers on social media are speculating whether the choice references those comments.

Young Thug’s girlfriend, Mariah the Scientist, told reporter Michael Seiden the choice was “pure coincidence.”

State called contested witness Sergeant Carlos Maldonado to stand

Monday 4 December 2023 19:17 , Katie Hawkinson

The prosecution called Sergeant Carlos Maldonado with the Atlanta Police Department to the stand.

He testified about a 2017 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Quamarvious Nichols, a defendant in this case. Mr Maldonado said he found substances suspected to be MDMA and Xanax after searching the vehicle.

Mr Nichols is charged with posession of MDMA with intent to distribute, posession of a firearm by a felon, and participation in criminal street gang activity, according to the indictment.

Mr Maldonado was one of the contested witnesses in the Monday morning dispute over the witness list.

The defence told Judge Ural Glanville they had the opportunity to cross-examine Mr Maldonado but their conversation did not cover the subject of his testimony today. The defence said they asked the prosecution to interview him again, but they offered a time on short notice during which a member of the defence team was not available.

Officer Morris Kandakai takes the stand

Monday 4 December 2023 16:33 , Katie Hawkinson

The prosecution called Officer Morris Kandakai to the stand. He worked for the Atlanta Police Department 2012-2015 and currently works for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.

He testified about a 15 July 2015 traffic stop involving defendants Trontavious Stephens and Shannon Stillwell. The incident is listed in the indictment. Mr Kandakai told prosecutors he found marijuana, a digital scale, a firearm, and prescribed hydrocodone. He said Mr Stephens attempted to claim the items.

Mr Stillwell’s attorney also cross-examined Mr Kandakai, who said he did not find any gang paraphernalia in the car. Mr Kandakai previously said he was not tasked with investigating gang activity but that he was aware of some activity in the area.

Mr Kandakai was suspended and placed on administrative duties in January following a scuffle with another defendant in this case, Rodalius Ryan, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Prosecution calls Officer Wellington Clarke to witness stand

Monday 4 December 2023 16:13 , Katie Hawkinson

Wellington Clarke is an officer with the Atlanta Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit.

He spoke to prosecutors about his time working as a crime scene technician.

Proseuction calls Officer Antonio Skeete to witness stand

Monday 4 December 2023 16:03 , Katie Hawkinson

Antonio Skeete is an officer with the Atlanta Police Department’s criminal investigation department, working in the special enforcement section on fugitives.

He has been with the department for nineteen years, Mr Skeete told the prosecution after taking the stand.

Mr Skeete testified about an allegedly stolen gun taken during a burglary in 2013. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, is accused of theft by receiving stolen property, according to the indictment.

Conflict over this week’s witness list

Monday 4 December 2023 15:31 , Katie Hawkinson

Young Thug’s defence team is calling on the court to stop prosecutors from calling certain witnesses, claiming they were not given enough time to cross-examine over the weekend.

“Yesterday evening, for God’s sake,” Keith Adams, a member of the defence, said to Judge Ural Glanville.

The defence claims they did not have enough time to cross-examine witnesses. The prosecution had an original list of 70 and sent a list of 17 additional people on Sunday evening.

The prosecution said the defence had enough time and offered to bring certain witnesses to the defence on Monday to give them more time to cross-examine.

Judge Glanville said he was not included on any email exchanges about witnesses after Friday. He warned the prosecution that excluding witnesses would not be out of the question.

“Exclusion would not be a far-reaching remedy for me at this point,” Judge Glanville said. “We’ve spent 30 minutes on this issue that I can’t get back.”

“I don’t want to deal with it again,” he continued.

Juror excused for hospital stay

Monday 4 December 2023 15:09 , Katie Hawkinson

Monday’s proceedings began with an announcement from Judge Ural Glanville that a juror was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. Judge Glanville has excused the juror until Wednesday due to their illness.

Judge Glanville told Young Thug’s lawyers there are alternate jurors so the trial will continue at this time.

This isn’t the first time the jury has been a matter of discussion in the courtroom. On Wednesday, a media camera mistakenly panned across the jury as a witness made their way to the stand to testify. The footage showed parts of at least two jurors’ faces. Judge Glanville warned the media to be careful, but acknowledged the incident ”wasn’t intentional.”

Court resumes on Monday after three-day recess

Monday 4 December 2023 15:03 , Katie Hawkinson

Young Thug’s trial has resumed in Atlanta, Georgia, after a three-day recess.

Monday’s court session marks week two of the influential rapper’s trial for charges under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Monday 4 December 2023 15:00 , Kelly Rissman

What charges are the defendants facing?

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 organisations such as the mafia.

According to the indictment, associates of YSL “conspired to associate together and with others for the common purposes of illegally obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity”.

It claims that YSL members were involved in murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, drug dealing, carjacking, and witness intimidation.

Other activities include “the posting of messages, images, videos and songs, demonstrating allegiance to the enterprise and willingness to engage in violence on its behalf”.

Prosecutors claim they can show that some of the group’s lyrics are related to crimes that they are accused of committing.

Through these activities and more the gang aimed to “preserve, protect, and enhance the reputation, power and territory” of the enterprise, prosecutors said.

Young Thug’s lawyer goes viral for trial performance

Monday 4 December 2023 11:40 , Rachel Sharp

Last week, Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel explained the meaning behind several of the rapper’s lyrics – after prosecutors claimed the lyrics are central to the case.

This included claiming the word thug means “truly humble under God”.

“He insisted everybody call him Young Thug… and that fit into the appearance of the gangster rap. But most people think about a thug as a criminal. But to Jeffrey, Thug had a different meaning,” he said.

His courtroom performance has since gone viral on social media.

Monday 4 December 2023 11:00 , Kelly Rissman

ICYMI: Viral moment when Mr Williams’ attorney defines ‘thug’

Monday 4 December 2023 07:00 , Kelly Rissman

Who has testified so far?

The prosecution has called up seven witnesses to testify.

  1. Mark Belknap is a detective for APD. He testified about gang signs and gave background into his findings of YSL and their identifiers.

  2. Mellissa Rosser is a “house mom” of an adult entertainment club. She testified about a carjacking incident in 2013.

  3. Capt Reginald Pettis, of the APD, also testified about the same incident and the OnStar system that tracked the stolen vehicle to an apartment complex that he monitored.

  4. Sgt Jonathan Heeb is discussing an August 2013 incident involving Mr Stillwell and “the green store.”

  5. Lt Scott Jimenez also testified about the incident.

  6. Andrew Phillips testified about goods — a laptop, two guns and a blanket — that were stolen from his home; Mr Williams aka Young Thug is accused of committing the theft in the indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

  7. Senior Patrol Officer Michael Monheim testified about the arrest of someone named Jeffery Williams.

Monday 4 December 2023 03:00 , Kelly Rissman

Confused about the terms in the trial? We can help

The rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is in court in Fulton County, Georgia, fighting gang and racketeering charges in connection with what prosecutors say is a violent street gang he co-founded called Young Slime Life (YSL). He and 27 defendants other are facing RICO charges and have each been individually charged with other violations. Mr Williams has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The first week of the trial was off to a rocky start, plagued by a motion for mistrial, frequent objections, numerous sidebars, and chaos after jurors’ faces were accidentally captured on camera.

But perhaps the most viral moments from the trial so far have consisted of the unusual terminology and references being used.

From “Pushin P” to “SLATT,” here’s a guide to the most important - and perplexing - words and phrases so far:

YSL and Pushin P: A dictionary guide to the Young Thug trial

Sunday 3 December 2023 23:00 , Kelly Rissman

What is RICO?

RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is a state law in Georgia based on the 1970 federal law, allowing the prosecution of alleged criminal organizations.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis explained at a press conference following the 2022 indictment: “RICO is a tool that allows a prosecutor’s office and law enforcement to tell the whole story. We use it as a tool so they can have all the information they need to make a wise decision.”

Donald Trump and his 18 codefendants were also charged under this Georgia statute.

Sunday 3 December 2023 19:00 , Kelly Rissman

Controversy after jurors’ faces caught on camera

During the third day of the trial on Wednesday, a camera mistakenly panned across the jury panel as a witness made their way to the stand to testify. Screenshots of the footage, in which parts of at least two of the jurors’ faces are shown, inevitably spread like wildfire online.

The incident prompted a lengthy delay of proceedings along with fears that a mistrial would ensue — after a grueling 11 months of jury selection, no less. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, Judge Ural Glanville instructed members of the media in the courtroom to stop filming the expert witness, an Atlanta Police detective, “due to some security issues” relating to the “inadvertent recording of some of our jurors in the front row.”

But still, the trial went on.

Read more to learn what happened next...

Young Thug trial jurors were exposed on video. The case is continuing anyway

Sunday 3 December 2023 15:00 , Kelly Rissman

ICYMI: Testimony from Mellissa Rosser over 2013 carjacking incident

Sunday 3 December 2023 11:00 , Kelly Rissman

What is a ‘Studio Gangster’?

“Studio Gangster” is a derogatory term, according to Detective Belknap.

Mr Belknap said the term is used when someone “takes on the persona” of being violent when entering the music studio, but may not be in real life. So, calling someone that is a “slur” and a “huge sign of disrespect” to those actually involved in a criminal gang, he explained.

Sunday 3 December 2023 07:00 , Kelly Rissman

What does ‘SLATT’ mean?

The prosecution and some law enforcement witnesses have mentioned “SLATT.” The indictment says that it is an abbreviation for “Slime Love All the Time.”

Atlanta Police Department detective Mark Belknap, a witness for the prosecution, told jurors that “SLATT” is an identifier of the gang YSL, and can often be used in tattoos, graffiti or on social media.

Sunday 3 December 2023 03:00 , Kelly Rissman

Why was Bleach anime referenced at the trial?

In her opening statement, defence attorney Angela D’Williams, who represents defendant Rodalius Ryan, referenced the anime called Bleach.

“This reminds me of an anime named Bleach,” she said, before describing that the storyline of the “Bounts,” who are “villains of the whole thing,” takes place only in season four and five. After those seasons, they aren’t mentioned, Ms D’Williams said.

“Why don’t you hear about these important characters? Because they’re filler characters,” she continued. “Me and Rodalius, we’re filler characters. We’re not integral to the story.” The attorney was trying to downplay her client’s alleged involvement: “They just drag him out of prison to jail to make this bigger than it has to be.”

Mr Ryan is only charged with one count, the same racketeering charge that every defendant is facing. He is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted for murder.

Saturday 2 December 2023 21:00 , Kelly Rissman

‘Pushin’ P’ defined

Defence attorney Brian Steel pulled up a Powerpoint slide during his opening remarks showing a photo of his client, Mr Williams, flashing a hand sign. The indictment states that Mr Williams is flashing a “‘Bloods’ gang sign.” Mr Steel said the prosecution is arguing that his hand is in the shape of a “B.”

Mr Steel said that his client was holding up the letter “P” before referencing a song by Mr Williams and his codefendant Sergio Kitchens, aka Gunna, called “pushin P.” The lawyer translated the song to mean “pushing positivity.”

According to Mr Steel, “It means, any circumstance you’re in, if you think positively about something, you can make it through. You’re pushing positivity.”

The term has been represented online by the 🅿️ emoji and is understood to mean “keeping it real” or, according to Mr Kitchens on The Breakfast Club, it “could” mean keeping it “player.”

Saturday 2 December 2023 19:00 , Kelly Rissman

Recap: The trial got off to a rocky start

The prosecutor, Adriane Love, was finally able to begin her opening statements — but was stopped a few times with objections. Defence attorney Brian Steel made three objections to her opening statement, all of which were sustained.

The trial then came to a screeching halt when the jury was asked to leave the room and the defence team said that Ms Love hadn’t provided certain Powerpoint slides, which she was presenting to the jury, to the defence ahead of the trial, prompting Mr Steel to motion for a mistrial. The motion was denied.

After the court returned from lunch, the judge snapped at attorneys from both sides for having “wasted two hours.”

Read the full story...

Young Thug’s YSL trial kicks off with scoldings, ‘wasted time’ and no tempo

Saturday 2 December 2023 15:00 , Kelly Rissman

How has the music industry reacted to the trial?

Several big names in the music industry have expressed support for YSL and hit out at prosecutors’ efforts to use their own lyrics against them.

Canadian superstar Drake referenced the case in the track Sticky on his new album Honestly, Nevermind.

“Somebody’s getting paid and/Free Big Slime out the cage,” Drake says in the song.

Killer Mike of rap group Run The Jewels previously told ABC News: “Hip hop is not respected as an art because Black people in this country are not recognised as full human beings.

“If we allow the courts to prosecute these men based on characters they created and stories of pretend that they tell in rhyme then next, they’ll be at your door.”

Saturday 2 December 2023 11:00 , Kelly Rissman

How long has Young Thug been behind bars?

Young Thug has been in prison since his arrest in May 2022.

Earlier this month, a jury was finally selected after almost one year – with over 2,000 people having been summoned to possibly serve.

Now, opening statements in the trial are set to begin on 27 November.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the trial could end up being the longest in Georgia’s history.

Saturday 2 December 2023 07:00 , Kelly Rissman

Trial jurors were exposed on video, but the case is continuing anyway

Rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, has spent the week in court in Fulton County, Georgia, fighting gang and racketeering charges in connection with what prosecutors say is a violent street gang he co-founded called Young Slime Life (YSL).

During the third day of the trial on Wednesday, a camera mistakenly panned across the jury panel as a witness made their way to the stand to testify. Screenshots of the footage, in which parts of at least two of the jurors’ faces are shown, inevitably spread like wildfire online.

The incident prompted a lengthy delay of proceedings along with fears that a mistrial would ensue — after a grueling 11 months of jury selection, no less. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, Judge Ural Glanville instructed members of the media in the courtroom to stop filming the expert witness, an Atlanta Police detective, “due to some security issues” relating to the “inadvertent recording of some of our jurors in the front row.”

Read the full story...

Young Thug trial jurors were exposed on video. The case is continuing anyway

Saturday 2 December 2023 03:00 , Kelly Rissman

Who has testified so far?

The prosecution has called up seven witnesses to testify.

  1. Mark Belknap is a detective for APD. He testified about gang signs and gave background into his findings of YSL and their identifiers.

  2. Mellissa Rosser is a “house mom” of an adult entertainment club. She testified about a carjacking incident in 2013.

  3. Capt Reginald Pettis, of the APD, also testified about the same incident and the OnStar system that tracked the stolen vehicle to an apartment complex that he monitored.

  4. Sgt Jonathan Heeb is discussing an August 2013 incident involving Mr Stillwell and “the green store.”

  5. Lt Scott Jimenez also testified about the incident.

  6. Andrew Phillips testified about goods — a laptop, two guns and a blanket — that were stolen from his home; Mr Williams aka Young Thug is accused of committing the theft in the indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

  7. Senior Patrol Officer Michael Monheim testified about the arrest of someone named Jeffery Williams.

Saturday 2 December 2023 01:00 , Kelly Rissman

Why is Young Thug on trial?

Rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, has spent the week in court in Fulton County, Georgia, fighting gang and racketeering charges in connection with what prosecutors say is a violent street gang he co-founded called Young Slime Life (YSL).

He and 27 other defendants are facing RICO charges. The rapper is also facing additional charges, including possessing a machine gun. Mr Williams has pleaded not guilty to all charges.