Young Thug has been denied bond for racketeering and gang-related charges brought against him last month. The rapper, born Jeffrey Lamar Williams, pleaded not guilty during a June 2 hearing in Fulton County, Georgia. A judge made the decision after prosecutors argued that Young Thug is a danger to the community and a flight risk, claiming house arrest would not be enough to keep anyone safe. Vulture has reached out to Young Thug’s legal counsel for a statement. Young Thug’s trial is set for January 9, 2023.
Young Thug’s charge is a part of a larger indictment against YSL, the label founded by Thug, which encompasses 28 rappers and associates, including Gunna, Yak Gotti, Duke, and Young Thug’s brother, Unfoonk. The indictment alleges a number of rap lyrics serve as evidence of gang activity, although multiple artists have urged prosecutors to view lyrics as fictional and remove them from evidence.
Young Thug’s bond hearing was delayed due to an effort from the prosecution to try and remove the rapper’s longtime lawyer, Brian Steel, from the case. Prosecutors cited a potential conflict of interest as the reason for Steel’s removal, arguing that the lawyer is too closely involved in the rapper’s life and other members of YSL. They believe that Steel’s involvement may affect their ability to pursue plea deals or other forms of cooperation with the defendants. Prosecutors told the court that they have already approached one attorney in the cases about their defendants’ potential cooperation. “I have been with Mr. Williams countless days, weeks, months and hours. I know his entire life. You want to talk about representation of a client? That is the bond of an attorney-client relationship,” Steel told the court. The judge threw out the motion to remove him for the time being.