ATLANTA - Bond has been denied once again for Atlanta rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams. The rapper is facing multiple charges in a massive RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) case along with several other defendants.
During the hearing on Friday morning, lawyers for the rapper said that Williams has maintained employment by releasing an album while in jail and brought up previous health concerns. They described Williams as "languishing" in jail.
Although the rapper met some of the conditions for release on bond, the judge said that he is still concerned about Williams' influence, which was the argument brought by prosecutors as the reason for denial.
A bond hearing for Yak Gotti, whose real name is Deamonte Kendrick, followed Young Thug's hearing.
Kendrick's lawyer told the judge that Kendrick has been "assaulted" numerous times by the staff of Fulton County Jail. He also brought up the death of inmate LaShawn Thompson in 2022 and other reports about the conditions experienced by inmates at the jail, which is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice..
Prosecutors argued against Kendrick's release, saying that he is a flight risk and accused Kendrick of beating up another inmate. Additionally, the prosecution pointed out that Kendrick's mother allegedly attempted to smuggle contraband into the jail for her son, and they believe that he will continue to commit crimes if he is released from jail.
Ultimately, the judge also denied bond for Kendrick.
Williams and Kendrick have been in jail for more than a year awaiting trial. Jury selection began in January and not a single juror has been selected. The process has been plagued by numerous incidents, including disruptions and arrests.
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Williams, along with more than 20 other people associated with Young SlimeLife, were arrested in May 2022 after an 88-page grand jury indictment characterized YSL or Young Slime Life as a "criminal street gang." Williams and others have insisted that YSL is nothing more than a record label.
The 56-count grand jury indictment accused members of violent crimes such as murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and more. The indictment also accused the arrested as conspiring for the common purpose of illegally obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity. Williams has been painted as the mastermind and leader of the YSL gang.
Another high-profile rapper who was originally arrested and charged, Gunna or Sergio Kitchens, was released on Dec. 14 after he entered an Alford plea, a deal that allowed him to plead guilty while maintaining his innocence. His five-year sentence was commuted to time served and he was given 500 hours of community service. YSL co-founder Walter Murphy also entered a guilty plea on a single count of conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years, which he negotiated to one year served and 9 years of probation.
Several other defendants have also taken plea deals in the last few months, leaving 8 defendants to stand trial.
One of those who took a plea deal, Young Thug's younger brother Quantavious Grier, was rearrested in May 2023 after police found a gun in his car and must now serve 9 years in prison for violating probation.