'This trial is a farce': Young Thug's lawyer files new 200-page motion

Brian Steel, attorney for rapper Young Thug (Jeffery Williams), filed a supplemental motion late Monday that once again calls for the removal of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville, along with the disqualification of the state's prosecutors from the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.

Steel's motion also seeks Judge Rachel Krause’s removal from deciding if Judge Glanville should be disqualified from the case due to alleged misconduct.

Lastly, Steel demands the release of his client from custody.


The over 200-page motion outlines numerous allegations against Judge Glanville and two prosecutors, Adriane Love and Simone Hylton, accusing them of unethical behavior and bias.

"Mr. Williams’ trial is constitutionally broken based upon the unconscionable misconduct of Judge Glanville, lawyer Love, and lawyer Hylton, all working together in an effort to convict Mr. Williams. The criminal justice system in Fulton County, in the State of Georgia, and in America has been attacked by the conduct of these three actors. This injustice must end immediately, beginning with Judge Glanville removed and disqualified from Mr. Williams’ case. Thereafter, this motion is also timely made for lawyer Love and lawyer Hylton to be removed and disqualified from Mr. Williams’ trial, and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office must be investigated for their improper conduct, if any, outside of the actions of lawyer Love and lawyer Hylton," according to the motion.

"This judicial and prosecutorial misconduct denotes a disgraceful episode in Fulton County Courts, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, and stains courts throughout the State of Georgia and our country," Steel also wrote.

Simone Hylton and Adriane Love in Judge Glanville's courtroom

Steel’s motion calls for his Grammy Award-winning client to be released from jail and "cleared of all charges based upon prosecutorial and judicial misconduct."

"This trial is a farce. Denying this motion to recuse and permitting Judge Glanville to continue as judge perpetuates injustice. This case can never return to constitutional normalcy based solely upon the improper misconduct of lawyer Love, lawyer Hylton, and Judge Glanville. Any tragic conviction and sentence in this case will likely be reversed."

FOX 5 Atlanta reporter Deidra Dukes spoke to former Fulton County Prosecutor Ash Joshi who reviewed the motion and said he believes Steel faces an uphill battle.

"He knows the law better than anybody, but he is unlikely to succeed with this argument because he is asking for so much," Joshi told Dukes.  

"In order to win an argument like that, you are going to have to show, in my opinion, more than Mr. Steel is able to show in the arguments in this case," he continued. "The things that have been alleged by Mr. Steel don't rise to the level, in my opinion, an appellate court or Georgia Supreme Court would ever say, 'That's so severe.' Or, ‘Yes, what they have done is so severe, that the entire case should be dismissed.’"

Key Points from the Motion

Ex Parte Communications: Judge Glanville allegedly engaged in improper ex parte communications with lawyers Love and Hylton, discussing critical aspects of Williams' case without his counsel present. These actions, Steel argues, violate Williams' constitutional rights.

Witness Influence: The motion accuses Glanville, Love, and Hylton of orchestrating meetings to influence witness Kenneth Copeland to testify against Williams, including making false statements and misrepresentations to ensure his cooperation.

Witness Kenneth Copeland and Judge Ural Glanville

Bias and Advocacy: Steel asserts that Judge Glanville has acted more as an advocate for the prosecution than as an impartial judge, further evidenced by his attempts to advise and prepare Copeland for cross-examination.

Undisclosed Evidence: Critical exculpatory evidence, known as Brady/Giglio material, was allegedly withheld from Williams’ defense. This includes statements from Copeland admitting to past falsehoods, which were never disclosed to the defense team.

Constitutional Concerns: Steel’s motion highlights several constitutional violations, including:

  • Right to a Fair Trial: The ex parte meetings and alleged collusion between Glanville and the prosecution team are cited as violations of Williams’ right to a fair trial.
  • Due Process: The motion argues that Williams’ due process rights have been trampled by the judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
  • Right to Counsel: By engaging in discussions and making decisions affecting the trial without Williams’ counsel present, the affidavit claims his right to effective legal representation has been compromised.

Removal of Judge Krause

Steel argues that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rachel Krause should be removed due to the fact that she sits on the bench with Judge Glanville and Judge Glanville donated $2,000 to her re-election campaign in 2024. 

Judge Rachel Krause

Judge Rachel Krause

Steel says in the motion that he "derives no happiness" from calling for the prosecution and judge’s removal.

"However, let justice be done though the heavens fall," Steel wrote. "Actually, the heavens will not fall by unmasking biased and unethical members of the Bar."

Judge Glanville put the trial on indefinite hold until the decision could be made on the recusal motions.

PREVIOUS STORY: Young Thug RICO trial paused for judge removal motion review

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story said that Judge Krause also donated to Judge Glanville's campaign. Apparently, she did not. That information has been removed and the amended supplemental motion filed by Brian Steel has been included. 

State given more time to respond

Last week, Judge Krause ordered the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office to respond to the motion to remove Glanville. They were given a deadline of 5 p.m. July 8 to respond. However, prosecutors requested more time to respond and Judge Krause granted a 48-hour extension, setting a new deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Trouble from the start

The massive RICO trial against Williams and numerous co-defendants has faced numerous issues since the beginning.

After the longest jury selection in the history of the state, the trial has been interrupted multiple times by illnesses, the arrests of a juror and lawyer, the stabbing of defendant Shannon Stillwell, and various other disruptions.

Witness testimony hasn't been heard in over two weeks at this point.

RELATED: Young Thug trial stalled: Extension granted for prosecutions response to recusal motions

What led to the pause and motions for recusal

The current issue stems from the handling of state witness Kenneth "Lil Woody" Copeland, who is a former associate of Young Thug and some of the other defendants.

It began on June 7 when Copeland suddenly decided not to testify for the state and asserted his Fifth Amendment right on the witness stand. He was held in contempt of court and sent to jail over the weekend.

PREVIOUS STORY: Young Thug trial: Lil Woody arrested for refusing to testify in trial

On June 10, there was an ex parte meeting with Copeland, Judge Glanville, the prosecutors, and others in the judge's chambers. Copeland then returned to the stand to testify. Steel found out about the meeting, which set off the current chain of events.

RELATED STORY: Young Thug/YSL trial: Transcript of ex parte meeting released

What are the charges Young Thug faces?

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Young Thug (Jeffery Williams) in May 2022, and more charges were added in a subsequent indictment in August of that year. The second indictment accused Young Thug and 27 other people of conspiring to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. The rapper is also accused of participation in criminal street gang activity, as well as drug and gun charges.

Prosecutors say Williams and two other people co-founded a violent criminal street gang in 2012 called Young Slime Life, or YSL, which they say is associated with the national Bloods gang. The indictment says Young Thug "made YSL a well-known name by referring to it in his songs and on social media."

In addition to specific charges, the August indictment includes a wide-ranging list of 191 acts that prosecutors say were committed between 2013 and 2022 as part of the alleged conspiracy to further the gang’s interests.

Included in that list is an allegation that Williams threatened in July 2015 to shoot a security guard who was trying to get him to leave an Atlanta-area mall. The indictment also says Williams rented a silver Infiniti sedan that was used in the killing of a rival gang member. And, on numerous occasions, he and others are alleged to have possessed various illegal drugs that they intended to distribute.

Who is on trial with Young Thug?

The other defendants still facing trial include Marquavius Huey, Deamonte Kendrick (known as Yak Gotti), Quamarvious Nichols, Rodalius Ryan and Shannon Stillwell.

RELATED: YSL defendants in court: Several remaining defendants reject plea deals

The other defendants who have already pleaded guilty to various charges prior to jury selection include Gunna, whose given name is Sergio Kitchens; Young Thug's older brother, Quantavious Grier (Unfoonk); Trontavious Stephens (Tick); and Antonio Sledge (Mounk Tounk).