May 11, 2022 - News

Young Thug’s legal troubles

Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis addresses reporters with Sheriff Patrick Labat and Police Chief Rodney Bryant
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

A day after arresting rapper Young Thug on gang and racketeering charges, Fulton County's top prosecutor said the musician and the alleged gang he's accused of co-founding wreaked "havoc" in Atlanta, with crimes involving violence, theft and drugs.

Driving the news: On Monday afternoon, law enforcement raided a Buckhead home and arrested the rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams.

  • Nearly 30 other people, including rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, were charged. An 88-page indictment cited song lyrics and social media posts as evidence.

Williams’ lawyer, Brian Steel, told WSB on Monday night that his client “committed no crime whatsoever, and we will fight to my last drop of blood to clear him.”

Catch up quick: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis alleges that Williams co-founded Young Slime Life in southeast Atlanta’s Cleveland Avenue area in 2012 and later promoted the organization in songs and on social media.

  • In January 2015, Williams rented a sedan that the indictment claims was later used during the murder of Donovan Thomas, Jr., a rival gang member, by five alleged associates of Williams.

Between the lines: At a news conference Tuesday, Willis defended her team’s use of song lyrics and social media posts to build a case against the 28 defendants.

  • Rappers including Jay-Z and Meek Mill have called for limits on how prosecutors can use musicians' lyrics in criminal trials against the artists.

What’s next: Willis said Tuesday that she’ll request the maximum penalty for the defendants, some of whom were already in custody. Others remain at large as of press time.

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