Young Thug Denied Bond, Judge Cites Potential Danger to the Community and Witnesses

On May 9, Young Thug was arrested on charges of participation in street gang activity and conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Today (June 2), the rapper was denied bond by Judge Ural D. Glanville following a seven-plus hour bond hearing in Atlanta, as Variety and The New York TimesJoe Coscarelli report. Thug’s trial is currently set for January 9, 2023.

Judge Glanville denied Young Thug bond, claiming the rapper born Jeffery Lamar Williams is a potential danger to the community and witnesses. “There has been significant proffers about Mr. Williams being a danger to the community,” Glanville said. “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.”

When reached by Pitchfork, Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel said, “I will not stop my focus and passionate pursuit to ethically, lawfully and zealously clear Mr. Williams from these baseless charges. We will dissect the prosecution’s argument in opposition to bail and will then file a detailed Motion for the Honorable Court to reconsider the ruling on bond. We will ask for another bond hearing.”

On May 23, Gunna—who was one of multiple alleged gang members named in the RICO indictment—was also denied bond after pleading not guilty to conspiracy to violate the RICO Act. His trial is also scheduled to begin on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Young Thug and Gunna were named in a grand jury indictment that was released on May 9. The 56-count indictment named a total of 28 alleged members and associates of Thug’s label and imprint YSL (aka Young Slime Life, Young Stoner Life, and Young Slatt Life). Among those indicted were Yak Gotti, Peewee Roscoe, Duke, and Thug’s brother Unfoonk. The indictment defines YSL as a “criminal street gang” founded in 2012 with an affiliation with the Bloods.

While all 28 defendants were charged with conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, Thug and Gunna’s co-defendants face additional charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault, drugs and weapons charges. Yak Gotti and four others were charged with murder for the January 2015 death of Donovan Thomas, Jr., who is described by prosecutors as “a rival gang member.” Young Thug is also accused of renting a car that was later used “in the commission of” that murder.

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