The YSL RICO trial involving rapper Young Thug has officially kicked off with day one of opening statements. As The Shade Room previously reported, the rapper has awaited trial since his arrest in Georgia in May 2022 on racketeering and conspiracy charges.
According to CNN, Thug was arrested along with 27 other defendants. However, since then, “several defendants,” including fellow rapper Gunna and Young Thug’s brother, Unfoonk, have taken plea deals. Other defendants have reportedly been severed from the case for various reasons.
Young Thug remains one of six defendants and has maintained his innocence by pleading not guilty to his charges.
Monday’s opening statements follow ten months of rigorous proceedings for jury selection.
The District Attorney’s Reported Opening Statements Against Young Thug & YSL
According to CNN, opening statements of the YSL RICO trial “was called to order” on the morning of Monday, November 27. However, the proceeding was put into recess after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville revealed one of the twelve jurors could not be located.
To note, Rolling Stone reports that nine of the jurors are Black. Additionally, nine are women, while three are men.
The outlet reports that after 40 minutes, the proceeding resumed.
Rolling Stone reports that from there, the Fulton County District Attorney, Adriane Love, commenced with the state’s opening statements. In her words, Love alleged that YSL “operated as a pack” and sucked the “innocence” and “lives” of its members. YSL allegedly stands as an acronym for Young Thug’s music label, Young Stoner Life Records.
However, prosecutors believe the acronym stands for Young Slime Life, an “Atlanta-based street gang” behind murder, drug, and firearm violations.
“YSL operated as a pack,” Love reportedly told the courtroom, per Rolling Stone. “…For 10 years and counting, the group calling itself Young Slime Life dominated the Cleveland Avenue community of Fulton County. They created a crater … that sucked in the youth, innocence and even the lives of some of its youngest members.”
Additionally, Love alleged that Young Thug, whose government name is Jeffrey Williams, is the “head” of YSL.
“…The members and associates of YSL moved like a pack, with defendant Jeffery Williams as its head,” Love reportedly explained.
The Proceeding Hits A Hiccup With Talks Of Mistrial
According to the outlet, the proceeding then hit a hiccup when Love reportedly referred to Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, representing YSL codefendant Rodalius Ryan on a murder appeal.
WSBTV reports that Steel immediately “objected” to Love’s statement, which led to the jury being dismissed from the courtroom. Steel reportedly informed Judge Glanville that the district attorney “presented information to the jury… that was not disclosed to the defense.”
“There are at least a dozen slides that were never turned over to us,” another defense attorney reportedly told the judge. “I would ask that any slides that have not already been shown to the jury be excluded in her [Love’s] opening statements.”
The “slides” the lawyer reportedly referred to were PowerPoint slides presented to the jury. According to Michael Seiden, a reporter for WSBTV, the slides contained “numerous errors.”
The PowerPoint slides also contain numerous errors. Judge is giving State the opportunity to correct the mistakes before continuing with opening statements
— Michael Seiden (@SeidenWSBTV) November 27, 2023
The defense attorneys reportedly asked for a mistrial. However, Judge Glanville denied their request, instead sending the courtroom to lunch. Additionally, Judge Glanville ordered prosecutors to correct their slides and ensure the information was given to the defense.
“If I get another objection about an error, I’m going to exclude it for the purpose of opening statements because you didn’t follow my instructions,” Judge Glanville reportedly told prosecutors, per WSBTV.
Young Thug & YSL Receive Support From Mariah The Scientist & Others
As Young Thug looks to battle his charges with his five codefendants, he continues to receive support from his girlfriend, singer Mariah The Scientist. The artist attended day one of the opening statements sporting a houndstooth blazer or trenchcoat with a Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) button-up and black tie.
Instagram users have also shown Young Thug support in The Shade Room’s comment section — namely applauding the rapper’s physical appearance.
“He ain’t missed a meal or had a bad hair day since he been in there💀”
“His hair fresher than some of yall and yall not in the slammer.. 👏🏾”
“Idc i don’t like this for thug free the slime”