Young Thug‘s long-awaited YSL RICO trial finally kicked off on Monday (Nov. 27) with opening statements, and the trial is set to officially start this week. Thugger, born Jeffery Lamar Williams, is charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and gang laws, among other things. The YSL leader was indicted last year along with more than two dozen other people. Five of them are set to stand trial with him.
Thug and his five co-defendants all face charges of conspiring to murder, armed robbery, and participating in criminal street gang activity. Prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga. have accused YSL of being a front for a violent street gang that has allegedly had a devastating effect on Atlanta for over a decade. Thug is described as the leader of the YSL organization, which stands for Young Stoner Life.
The jury selection process was completed in mid-November after 10 months of deliberating, and the jury now consists of 12 people. Seven Black women, two White women, two Black men, and one White man will decide Thug’s fate. The trial is expected to last up to a year, so as things get underway, here are the biggest takeaways from the first day.
YSL Judge Glanville Brings His Dog to Court
The first noteworthy instance occurred before opening statements, with Judge Glanville noting that the jury may be distracted by his dog moving around the courtroom.
“Here behind me is this ball that starts jingling,” the judge said. “and if you hear a jingling sound like a bell, please don’t think that I’m doing anything creepy up here, alright? I have a service dog behind me. His name is Jack. I think some of you may have seen him already. He lives the best life ever. He’s pampered, he’s a Labrador Retriever and he’s about two and a half, three years old at this point in time.”
He continued, “If you hear that bell, that’s him moving around. He doesn’t bark. He rarely gets interested in what’s going on so he might come up here and look but that’s about it. Don’t bring him any food either, okay? He is spoiled rotten. Please don’t try to throw him any food back here behind me or anything like that. He doesn’t need anything else.”
YSL Juror Shows Up Late
One of the YSL trials 12 jurors showed up late to the first day of proceedings due to car trouble, and the trial in turn was delayed by over an hour.
Judge Glanville Scolds Both Defense and Prosecution for Use of PowerPoints
Glanville lost his temper early on during opening statements and accused both the Defense and the State of not following his instructions in regards
“OK, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m excluding the PowerPoints. Y’all are just gonna have to make this thing up the whole way. You’re gonna have to make an opening statement. No PowerPoints. Let’s bring our jury in.”
He continued, “No PowerPoints because you didn’t do what I told you to do, and that was to exchange PowerPoints. We have wasted almost two hours trying to get this stuff done. My orders to you are not aspirational. They’re given for a reason, and when you don’t follow them, then I have a way to remedy that.”
Lil Wayne Mentioned During Opening Statements
During Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love’s opening statement, she also mentioned Lil Wayne’s tour bus shooting in 2015, which was done by Peewee Roscoe. The YSL member shouted out the collective multiple times on social media before and after he was jailed for the shooting, and Young Thug and Birdman were long rumored to have hired Peewee.
During her opening statement, Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love alleged that members of Young Thug’s group had shown up at Lil Wayne’s show at the Compound in Atlanta “locked and loaded with guns.”
“Bullets for nothing but to show their dominance,” Love said. “There will be no evidence that Lil Wayne threatened either of them that night.”
Defense Tries to Get Trial Dismissed
The defense tried to get the trial dismissed early on during the proceedings on Monday. Judge Glanville was furious that the prosecution didn’t share all the slides they planned to say during their opening statements, and the defense sought to have the trial thrown out. However, Judge Glanville didn’t cave and said the trial would continue.
Prosecution Recites Young Thug Lyrics
After Judge Glanville declared on Nov. 9 that song lyrics could be used by the prosecution against Thugga, Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love made good on that promise on Monday. She pulled the lyrics up on the screen and told jurors that, “law enforcement didn’t chase the lyrics to solve the murders. Law enforcement chased the murders and found the lyrics.”
“Take this s**t to muthaf**kin trial,” “I rep my life for real,” and “pay for that casket that’s just if we whack ’em,” were just a few of the lyrics read out by Love.
Young Thug’s YSL trial will continue on Tuesday (Nov. 28) at 10 a.m. EST.