Young Thug trial: Judge tells lawyers to pick up the pace in lengthy trial

Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Ural Glanville is making efforts to expedite the ongoing trial of the Young Thug/YSL case, which has already secured its place as the longest trial in Georgia's history. 

Expressing his concern in court Tuesday over the prolonged duration of the trial, Judge Glanville noted that prosecutors are taking longer than anticipated to present their side of the case.

To mitigate the lengthy proceedings, Judge Glanville proposed several options, including the possibility of starting court earlier on certain days or holding court sessions on weekends. 

"If you don’t want your Saturday and Sunday sucked up, I think we need to work a little harder," Glanville said.

The state told the judge they plan to call 150 witnesses over 120 court days, which is about 6 or 7 months. Prosecutors initially said they planned to call approximately 700 witnesses. 

The issue came up after attorneys for defendant Deamonte Kendrick filed a motion asking the judge to limit the number of witnesses.


Jury selection in the case began on Jan. 4, 2023. Opening statements did not take place until 10 months later on Nov. 27. There have been multiple delays and problems with the jurors which has resulted in just 52 days of actual proceedings. 

Arrest of Young Thug and associates

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested in May 2022 on charges of participating in gang activity and violating Georgia's criminal racketeering law as part of YSL, which stands for Young Slime Life or Young Stoner Life. 

Multiple associates of Young Thug were arrested, including rappers Gunna and Unfoonk. Some of those arrested were charged with violent crimes such as murder, attempted robbery and more.

Gunna and Unfoonk take deals

Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, entered an Alford plea in December 2022 and was sentenced to 5 years in prison with 4 years suspended. 

Unfoonk, whose real name is Quantavious Grier, pled guilty in 2022. He was given a 10-year probation. However, police found a gun in Grier's car in May 2023 and he was sent to prison. 

Several other co-defendants have also ped guilty and reportedly admitted that YSL is both a music collective and a criminal group, including Slimelife Shawty, who took a plea deal in December 2022.

Shawty, whose real name is Trontavious Stephens, has already testified in the trial. 

However, Derontae Bebee rejected a plea deal and was sentenced to 15 years – 5 years in prison and 10 years on probation.