YSL trial begins next week with 14 defendants, including Young Thug

YSL trial begins next week with 14 defendants, including Young Thug

Prosecution is expected to call about 300 witnesses to the stand when the trial begins in early January.

Jury selection in Young Thug’s RICO case begins next week in Fulton County, Georgia, where 13 other defendants will stand trial.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the original indictment named 28 defendants, including rapper Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams and Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens. However, “eight have taken plea deals and six others” will stand trial at another time.

More than 300 witnesses are expected to take the stand when the trial starts. It is scheduled for early January, theGrio previously reported.

Young Thug attends the “62nd Annual Grammy Awards” on Jan. 26, 2020 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Young Thug and Gunna are members of the alleged criminal gang “Young Slime Life” or YSL, and prosecutors accused the group of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and have cited Young Thug and Gunna’s song lyrics, music videos and social media posts as evidence in the high-profile case,” according to The AJC. They also claim Young Thug is a co-founder of YSL.

Defense attorneys say YSL is simply a record label. Meanwhile, supposed YSL gang members have been blamed for some alleged crimes in Atlanta. Two of the defendants named in the original indictment were not arrested, while four others don’t have attorneys

“We’ve been attempting to get lawyers for them for several months,” Judge Ural Glanville said, The AJC reports. “Those particular individuals, once they get attorneys, we’ll deal with them at some point in the future.”

Several YSL associates accepted plea deals before Christmas, including Gunna, who was released from jail and Young Thug’s brother Quantavious Grier. As part of his probation, Grier must not have any contact with Young Thug — who has been denied bail  — or the other defendants until the RICO case is closed.

Rapper Gunna performs at the Wireless Music Festival on Sept. 10, 2021at Crystal Palace Park in London. (AP Photo/Scott Garfitt, File)

According to multiple reports, alleged YSL member Antonio Sledge, 41, claims YSL associates killed Donovan Thomas Jr. in 2015. Those involved with the crime reportedly went to Young Thug’s home after the killing where the hip-hop star gave Sledge and other YSL associates money to “lay low” following the incident, Sledge  — who accepted a plea deal  — told prosecutors, the AJC reports.

Two other defendants were offered plea deals but rejected them.

Jury selection is scheduled for Jan. 4 and the trial is set to begin on Jan. 9.

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Cariol Horne, 54, holds up a sign near the fenced-off parking lot outside Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, during a July remembrance ceremony for the 10 people killed in a May shooting at the store. The city of Buffalo this week filed a lawsuit against several top gun manufacturers. (Photo: Joshua Bessex/AP)

According to Buffalo officials, the lawsuit does not intend to restrict legal gun ownership.

“Members of our community have suffered too much for too long from gun violence,” Brown said in a statement, according to ABC7. “We must do everything we can to decrease gun violence. Enabling the possession of illegal guns destroys lives and deeply affects our neighborhood, especially in Black and Brown communities.”

Law enforcement officials classified the May 14 shooting at Tops supermarket as a “hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism,” The Associated Press previously reported. All except two of the 13 victims were Black.

The white gunman, Payton Gendron, now 19, faces life in prison after pleading guilty to 15 charges, including murder, murder as a hate crime and domestic terrorism motivated by hate.

In his attack, Gendron used a semi-automatic rifle that he legally purchased from a firearms store in Pennsylvania and modified to accommodate a large-capacity ammo magazine, which is illegal in New York, according to ABC7.

Buffalo has seen a surge in gun violence since 355 people were killed or injured in shootings in 2020. The number of shootings during the first two months of 2021 increased by 140 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

Brown claimed that certain gun manufacturers’ actions have unduly interfered with the public’s right to use open spaces without fear.

“All of the Defendants manufactured or distributed thousands of firearms recovered in crimes committed in the City of Buffalo and New York State,” the lawsuit alleges, ABC7 reported.

City Corporation Counsel Cavette A. Chambers said municipal authorities have been abiding by New York’s public nuisance statutes. They will consider “additional defendants and causes of action as they move on with discovery,” she contends.

According to the lawsuit, by emphasizing a firearm’s great capacity and ease of concealment, gun producers and merchants have maintained the public nuisance of unlawful holding, transportation and disposal of weapons and the usage of guns in the commission of crimes. This type of marketing, which also appears in movies and on social media, targets potential customers intending to defraud them.

The suit requests a jury trial, as well as compensatory and punitive damages — plus an abatement fund with sufficient resources to address the public nuisance gun manufacturers are liable for producing, worsening and sustaining.

The five major gun manufacturers named “acknowledged that they have no system process in place to gather safety data related to their products,” and they could not “produce any internal analyses of the dangers caused by sellers of their military-style weapons to civilians,” the lawsuit states, according to ABC7. None of the defendants had an immediate response to the lawsuit.

“The city of Buffalo is not going to let these gun industry members continue to flood our City with illegally possessed guns,” Chambers said, the station reported. “We must hold them accountable.”

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