The highly anticipated court case of rapper Young Thug has begun in an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom after being delayed for nearly a year.
In May of 2022, rapper Young Thug, whose birth name is Jeffery Williams, was taken into custody and accused as part of a widespread RICO case involving 27 other individuals.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney for Fulton County, is utilizing a similar statute to charge Donald Trump for his involvement in election tampering in Georgia. Willis has also accused the defendants of being affiliated with a street gang known as YSL, short for “Young Slime Life.”
The prosecutors claim that the gang is accountable for a string of aggressive offenses, such as killings, shootings, vehicle thefts, and organized criminal activity.
Young Thug has refuted the allegations and maintained that YSL stands for Young Stoner Life, his own record label.
Following the acceptance of plea bargains or the separation of their cases, the Grammy Award-winning rapper and five co-defendants are now facing trial.
The prosecution has summoned seven witnesses, one of whom alleged that his firearm was stolen. Mr. Williams has been accused of the theft.
The court was not in session on Friday, but it will reconvene on Monday, December 4th.
Who has given testimony up to this point?
Seven witnesses have been summoned by the prosecution to give testimony.
Mark Belknap, a detective at APD, provided testimony regarding gang symbols and shared information about his research on YSL and their distinguishing marks.
Melissa Rosser is the caretaker of an adult entertainment establishment. She gave a statement regarding a carjacking that occurred in 2013.
Captain Reginald Pettis, from the APD, also gave testimony regarding the same occurrence and the use of the OnStar system to locate the stolen vehicle at an apartment complex under his surveillance.
Sergeant Jonathan Heeb is talking about an event that occurred in August 2013 with Mr. Stillwell and a store called “the green store.”
Lieutenant Scott Jimenez also provided testimony regarding the event.
Andrew Phillips gave a statement regarding items that were taken from his residence: a laptop, two firearms, and a blanket. Mr. Williams, who is also known as Young Thug, has been indicted for the alleged theft. He has entered a plea of not guilty.
Officer Michael Monheim, a senior member of the patrol, gave testimony regarding the apprehension of an individual identified as Jeffery Williams.
Are you unsure of the terminology used in the trial? We are here to assist you.
However, the most widely shared moments from the trial thus far have involved the unconventional language and allusions being utilized.
Here is a breakdown of the significant and confusing words and phrases, from “Pushin P” to “SLATT”:
What is RICO?
The acronym RICO represents the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a state statute in Georgia modeled after the 1970 federal law that enables the prosecution of suspected criminal groups.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, stated in a press conference after the 2022 indictment that RICO is a valuable tool for prosecutors and law enforcement to present a comprehensive narrative. It provides them with all necessary information to make informed decisions.
There has been a heated discussion following the discovery of jurors’ identities being captured on camera.
On Wednesday, the third day of the trial, a camera accidentally moved across the jury box while a witness was walking to the stand to give testimony. Images from the video, which revealed the faces of at least two jurors, quickly went viral on the internet.
The occurrence caused a significant postponement of the legal process, and there were concerns that a new trial would be necessary – especially after an arduous 11 months of choosing jurors. However, this outcome did not occur.
Judge Ural Glanville directed the media present in the courtroom to cease filming the expert witness, an Atlanta Police detective, due to security concerns regarding the unintentional recording of jurors sitting in the front row.
However, the trial continued.
Continue reading to discover what occurred next…
In case you missed it: Mellissa Rosser’s statement about the 2013 carjacking event.
What does the term ‘Studio Gangster’ mean?
Detective Belknap considers “Studio Gangster” to be a derogatory term.
According to Mr. Belknap, the term is used to describe when someone pretends to be violent upon entering a music studio, but may not actually behave that way in real life. He stated that referring to someone as such is considered a derogatory term and a major form of disrespect towards those who are truly involved in a criminal gang.
What is the meaning of ‘SLATT’?
The prosecution and certain witnesses from law enforcement have referenced the term “SLATT.” According to the indictment, this is short for “Slime Love All the Time.”
Detective Mark Belknap, a witness for the prosecution from the Atlanta Police Department, informed the jury that the term “SLATT” is a distinctive symbol of the YSL gang and is commonly seen in tattoos, graffiti, or on social media platforms.
Why was the Bleach anime brought up during the trial?
During her initial statement, lawyer Angela D’Williams, who is representing defendant Rodalius Ryan, mentioned the animated series known as Bleach.
She mentioned that this is similar to an anime called Bleach, and went on to explain that the “Bounts,” who are considered the antagonists, are only featured in seasons four and five. After those seasons, they are not mentioned again, according to Ms. D’Williams.
“Why is there no mention of these significant characters? It’s because they serve as filler characters,” she explained. “Myself and Rodalius, we are filler characters. We do not play a crucial role in the story.” The lawyer was attempting to minimize her client’s supposed involvement: “They simply took him from prison to jail to make this seem more significant than it actually is.”
Mr. Ryan has been charged with one count, which is the same charge of racketeering that all defendants are facing. He has already been sentenced to life imprisonment for a previous conviction of murder.
‘Pushin’ P’ defined
During his opening statement, defense lawyer Brian Steel displayed a Powerpoint slide containing a photo of his client, Mr. Williams, making a hand gesture. According to the charges, Mr. Williams is making a gesture associated with the “Bloods” gang. Mr. Steel argued that the prosecution claims his client’s hand is forming a “B.”
According to Mr. Steel, his client displayed the letter “P” and then mentioned a song by Mr. Williams and his co-defendant Sergio Kitchens, also known as Gunna, titled “pushin P.” The attorney explained that the song’s message was about promoting positivity.
Mr. Steel believes that having a positive mindset can help you overcome any situation. By focusing on positive thoughts, you are able to stay motivated and push through challenges.
The 🅿️ emoji is commonly used online to symbolize “keeping it real.” On The Breakfast Club, Mr Kitchens suggests that it could also represent “keeping it player.”
Summary: The beginning of the trial was difficult.
Adriane Love, the prosecutor, was able to begin presenting her opening arguments after a delay due to several objections raised by defense attorney Brian Steel. However, all three of his objections were upheld.
The trial abruptly paused when the jury was dismissed from the room and the defense team claimed that Ms. Love had not shared specific Powerpoint slides with them prior to the trial. This prompted Mr. Steel to request a new trial, which was ultimately rejected.
When the court resumed after lunch, the judge scolded both attorneys for “wasting two hours.”
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