The rapper, real name Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested on May 9 on charges of participation in street gang activity and conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act. Gunna was also arrested and was recently denied bond.
Young Thug and Gunna, the latter of whom has also denied participating in criminal street gang activity as well as conspiring to violate the RICO Act, are two of 28 people charged in an indictment that focuses on the alleged street gang YSL (“Young Slime Life”). The gang is believed to have formed in Atlanta in 2012 and is linked to the infamous Bloods gang.
Thug is suspected of being one of three of the alleged gang’s founding members, while Gunna – real name Sergio Kitchens – is also among those listed in the indictment. Gunna’s lawyers have since responded saying that his indictment is “intensely problematic”, declaring that their client is “innocent”.
Bond has been refused for Young Thug after a judge claimed that he’s a potential danger to the community and witnesses.
“There has been significant proffers about Mr. Williams being a danger to the community,” Judge Ural D. Glanville said [via Pitchfork].
“In particular, the state’s proffer that they have taken proffers from other gang members – people who are in this particular indictment and others who are not in this indictment – that he is the leader of the gang, he is dangerous and if he crosses them he’ll kill them or their families.”
Both Thug and Gunna’s trials are set for January 9, 2023.
Steel said that the rapper was being held in “solitary confinement” in a “windowless cement compartment with only a bed and a toilet and an overhead light which remains on 24 hours per day,” according to a motion filed last month (May 13) [via Rolling Stone].
He also alleged that his client can’t sleep, rest or meditate due to the disorienting environment and that he has “no opportunity to exercise, shower or have human contact”.
“Mr. Williams, an innocent man, who is wholly isolated from the world, must obtain immediate relief,” Steel added.
Gunna’s legal teams expressed similar concerns last month. They asked a judge to reconsider keeping him in jail until trial, saying that he’s living in “intolerable conditions”.
“It is a miscarriage of justice that Kitchens languishes in intolerable conditions in jail (locked down 23 hours, seven days a week ‘for his own protection’) while the ‘investigation continues’ with – as of yet – not a shred of evidence that he is involved in any intimidation or threats or obstruction of justice,” Sadow wrote [via Billboard].