Judge halts YSL trial of young thugs in Georgia amid complaints of misconduct

ATLANTA – The judge overseeing the criminal fraud case against Young Thug has suspended the trial indefinitely, amid allegations that he and the attorney had an improper meeting with a prominent figure, so an outside judge can review the actions of the Atlanta rapper and others. the witness

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville made the surprise announcement as lawyers for the case, scheduled for a private hearing, gathered June 10 to review a transcript of a meeting between the judge, prosecutors and young gangster associate and star witness Kenneth Copeland. Gang conspiracy case.

Several defense attorneys sought to remove Glanville from overseeing the case, alleging that his meeting with a sworn witness was “improper” and that the judge and prosecutors pressured a key witness to testify.

Last month, Brian Steele, a young gangster lawyer, was found in criminal contempt and ordered to serve 20 weekends in jail after he questioned Glanville about the meeting and refused to reveal who told him about it — and the Georgia Supreme Court later suspended a sentence. As steel appeals.

On Monday, Glanville suddenly made the hearing public and announced from the bench that she planned to release the full transcript of the meeting with Copeland “so everyone has a chance to see it.” He later reversed himself, announcing that he would send the motions of recusal to another judge to decide whether to proceed in the case.

“Until then we shall rest,” announced Glanville.

The announcement surprised many, including prosecutors who immediately raised concerns about the jury’s influence, making it the longest criminal trial in Georgia history already at 18 months and counting. Jurors have not heard testimony in the case since June 17 amid controversy over Copeland’s testimony and evidentiary issues.

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“Do we have a timeline for when the motion to withdraw will be heard?” asked Simone Hilton, Fulton County deputy district attorney and lead attorney on the case.

“I don’t know,” Glanville replied. “I had nothing to do with it.”

Dramatic developments come as the fraud trial of a young gangster whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams drags out at a glacial pace, with jury and witness problems and other daily turmoil engulfing the high-profile prosecution led by Fulton County. District Attorney Fanny D. Willis (D).

The Young Thug case is one of two high-profile criminal fraud cases handled by Willis’ office. Last summer, a senior prosecutor filed charges against former President Donald Trump and a dozen of his associates, alleging they conspired to thwart Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia.

The case is now stalled as Trump and others appeal a judge’s decision to allow Willis to proceed amid allegations that Willis had an improper romantic relationship with the case’s former lead prosecutor.

Young Thug and 27 associates were indicted in May 2022 as part of a grand jury indictment accusing the rapper and his associates of belonging to a violent criminal street gang in Atlanta.

Prosecutors allege that Young Thak was the leader of a gang known as YSL, or Young Slim Life, and he is charged with criminal racketeering and racketeering, while others are accused of other violent crimes, including attempted murder and armed robbery.

Young Thug’s lawyers attacked prosecutors for introducing Young Thug’s lyrics into evidence at trial, claiming that YSL was a record label, arguing that his rhymes were merely artistic expressions and did not actually describe criminal acts.

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The arbitration in the case started in January 2023 and took 10 months. The opening statements took place in late November – proceedings were immediately halted after one of the young thugs’ co-defendants was stabbed in prison and hospitalized. Trials resumed in January but have been marred by repeated delays, including frequent disputes between lawyers and the judge.

Monday marked the 100th day of proceedings, although jurors heard testimony only half of those days. Prosecutors are not even halfway through their witness list of more than 200 people.

Prosecutors in the case have suggested the trial could last until 2025 or beyond — even before the latest turmoil, which has prompted questions about the future of the proceedings and whether Glanville will maintain control of the case.

Defense attorneys have repeatedly accused Glanville of bias, a charge that has only intensified in recent weeks. In a June 17 motion, Steele accused Glanville of being an unofficial member of the prosecution team that impeached his client.

At the same time, an attorney for another co-defendant filed an emergency motion with the Georgia Supreme Court to stay the case and consider whether Glanville should withdraw — a request the high court denied on procedural grounds. First by the lower court.

“Glanville’s actions offend the public’s confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” Doug Weinstein, an attorney for rapper Yak Gotti, whose real name is DeMonte Kendrick, wrote in the motion. “Because of Glanville’s failure to follow the law, the current investigation has the appearance of impropriety and bias.”

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Although the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the petition, the Georgia Supreme Court said in its ruling that if Weinstein files his petition in Fulton County Superior Court, Glanville would be “disqualified from presiding over the matter” and “another judge will consider.” “

Weinstein refiled his plea in Fulton County late Friday, which was assigned to another judge.

It’s unclear if that’s what sparked Monday’s events. From the bench, Glanville read what he said would be a written order detailing the timeline of events leading up to the private meeting with Copeland. He cited several case laws to argue that he had done nothing wrong.

“In this particular case, based on the case law, the court held that this was a valid ex parte meeting,” Glanville said.

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