Young Thug has been denied bond in a RICO case against him and 26 other gang members.
The rapper is facing RICO charges alongside 26 other alleged members of the Young Slime Life crew. Young Thug, real name Jeffery Lamar Williams, is facing seven additional felony charges following a raid on his home during his Monday arrest.
At a hearing on Wednesday, a judge ruled that he could only rule on bond in the case of the felony charges. The state’s prosecutor recommended that the rapper be denied bond, saying that he poses a flight risk due to considerable resources. Meanwhile, defense attorney Brian Steel argued that Williams had close ties to the Atlanta community and had no reason to flee. He also recounted the rapper’s full compliance with the raid on his home.
The judge in the case sided with the state, denying Young Thug’s bond on the grounds of being a flight risk. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors want to use the content of Young Thug’s lyrics against him in his RICO case.
The indictment alleges that Williams was in possession of stolen weapons, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, and cannabis. Prosecutors allege that Williams was a key figure within the YSL gang, along with two associates, Christian Eppinger and Antonio Sumlin. Prosecutors say they were conspiring to commit murder “by discussing how to obtain the permission of ‘Slime’ AKA Jeffrey Williams, to make a second attempt to murder” Atlanta rapper YFN Lucci.
The indictment contains an accusation dating back to 2015. Young Thug is accused of renting a car that was used in the commission of the murder of Donovan Thomas Jr., a rival gang member. Prosecutors have relied heavily on social media posts and song lyrics to paint Young Thug as a violent gang member.
Lyrics from at least nine different Young Thug songs are mentioned in the indictment. They include:
- “Just How It Is”
- “Take It To Trial”
Prosecutors allege that the lyrics in the songs constituted an overt act in furtherance of conspiracy. “I believe in the first amendment, it’s one of our most precious rights. However, the first amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using it as evidence if it is such,” adds Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. “In this case, we put it as overt and predicate acts within the RICO count, because we believe that’s exactly what it is.”