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

One of the witnesses in the Young Thug/YSL RICO trial was arrested for contempt of court on Friday.

Lil Woody, whose real name is Kenneth Copeland, invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and to avoid testifying against Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams.

When prosecutors asked Copeland how old he was, he replied "I'm grown. I'm an adult."

When prosecutors asked Copeland how old he was in terms of years, he replied, "I take the fifth."

Judge Ural Glanville then ordered Copeland to be held in willful contempt until Monday, since the prosecution had already granted Copeland immunity in exchange for his testimony.

Copeland, who is a convicted felon, was arrested in Fulton County in October 2021 with a loaded gun in the car he was driving.

After his arrest, Copeland reportedly gave police information about several past and future crimes. Copeland also indicated that he would help get a confession from Young Thug.

Video of his interview with police was leaked to the media.

Young Thug's attorney, Brian Steel, immediately filed for a mistrial after Copeland's arrest. However, the judge denied the motion. 

Court was recessed shortly after. It is set to resume at 9 a.m. Monday. 


Watch today's full court session

FOX 5 Atlanta streams the Young Thug/YSL RICO Trial on its YouTube channel whenever court is in session. 

What are the charges Young Thug faces?

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Young Thug in May 2022, and more charges were added in a subsequent indictment in August of that year. The second indictment accuses 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 Young Thug 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 Young Thug 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 Young Thug 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.

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).