Atlanta-based rapper Gunna (real name Sergio Giavanni Kitchens) has officially been released from jail after pleading guilty to a lone RICO conspiracy charge.
Local outlets including WSB-TV just recently reported on Gunna’s plea deal and release, which arrive after the 29-year-old was denied bail at least three times throughout 2022. Since May of this year, the DS4Ever artist (besides fellow rapper Young Thug and a number of others) had been jailed over alleged ties to and crimes committed by the Young Slime Life (YSL) street gang.
Gunna’s trial had been set to begin in early 2023 – Young Thug remains behind bars, appeared in court today, and is still expected to go to trial in January – until he finalized the aforesaid plea deal. Video of the corresponding court appearance shows Gunna acknowledging that he’d become involved with YSL around 2016.
Additionally, Gunna responded in the affirmative when asked by Fulton County Deputy DA Adriane Love whether “YSL is a music label and a gang” and whether he possessed “personal knowledge that members or associates of YSL have committed crimes in furtherance of the gang.”
Under the agreement (specifically an Alford plea, which allows him to maintain his innocence), Gunna was given a five-year sentence, with one of those years having been commuted to time served and the remaining four years having been suspended.
Gunna must also perform 500 hours of community service and cannot carry a gun while serving the sentence, according to the same outlet. And bearing in mind the above comments made during the hearing, Gunna emphasized in a lengthy statement that he had “NOT cooperated” and had “NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case.”
Notwithstanding this thorough explanation, a multitude of fans (and several artists) are discussing the details of Gunna’s plea deal on social media. A tearful Boosie Badazz criticized the perceived legal consequences (for Young Thug, that is) of Gunna’s admitting that a criminal element of YSL exists. And at the time of this writing, the first autocomplete result displayed on YouTube after typing “Gunna” into the search bar was “Gunna snitching.”
Lastly, alleged YSL co-founder Walter Murphy likewise accepted a plea deal and left jail, but “will not testify about the conduct of any other individual defendants,” per WSB-TV, which reiterated that Gunna must testify if called to the stand but maintains the right to plead the Fifth. Young Thug’s own trial is slated to begin on Thursday, January 5th.
Here’s Gunna’s full statement on his plea deal and release from jail.
“When I became affiliated with YSL in 2016, I did not consider it a ‘gang’; more like a group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations.
My focus of YSL was entertainment – rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community.
While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way.
I have chosen to end my own RICO case with an Alford plea and end my personal ordeal by publicly acknowledging my association with YSL. An Alford plea in my case is the entry of a guilty plea to the one charge against me, which is in my best interest, while at the same time maintaining my innocence toward the same charge. I love and cherish my association with YSL music, and always will. I look at this as an opportunity to give back to my community and educate young men and women that ‘gangs’ and violence only lead to destruction.”