The trial of Young Thug started Monday with opening statements

Young Thug, whose given name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, is an Atlanta-based musician and rapper. Criminal charges against Williams brought by the State of Georgia “accuse him of co-founding a violent criminal street gang and using his music to promote it.”

More specifically, Williams is charged with “violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering and gang laws.” Background of the evolution of the criminal charges brought against him disclose that he was indicted last year and that “more than two dozen other people” were indicted with him as co-defendants.

The criminal allegations against Williams are complex. Georgia prosecutors allege that Williams directed and continues to direct a criminal gang named Young Slime Life (YSL). Reporting informs that prosecutors allege Young Thug and two other people co-founded the violent YSL in 2012, “which they say is associated with the national Bloods gang.” The indictment says Young Thug “made YSL a well-known name by referring to it in his songs and on social media.” See related link, RAPPER YOUNG THUGS’ RICO ACT CHARGES EXPLAINED

Georgia has categorized YSL and Young Thug as participating in a criminal enterprise. Based on that premise, Georgia has charged Williams and others under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.

As consistently reported, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Young Thug in May 2022. Additional charges were filed in a subsequent indictment in August of that year. The subsequent or second indictment “accuses Young Thug and 27 other people of conspiring to violate Georgia’s RICO act.” More indictments have been filed.  “The rapper is also accused of participation in criminal street gang activity, as well as drug and gun charges.”

The trial is projected to last months and will likely include testimony from a number of high-profile music industry figures. Prosecutors are expected to take the controversial step of using Young Thug’s rap lyrics as evidence against him. Young Thug’s defense lawyers claim he is innocent of all charges. For example, his criminal defense lawyers “claim that YSL is no more than the name of a recording label.”

D & B Staff

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