Young Thug went before a judge to see if he could receive a bond in a RICO case on Thursday (June 2).
The judge denied bond to Young Thug, deeming him to be a potential flight risk and danger to the community.
In May, Young Thug was arrested along with 27 other members of the Young Slime Life crew, which prosecutors have labeled a criminal street gang.
The state believes Young Thug, born Jeffery Williams, is the leader of the dangerous gang.
An 88-page indictment accused the “Hot” rapper and his associates Gunna, Lil Duke, Unfoonk, Slimelife Shawty, Yak Gotti and 22 other people of running with YSL, which allegedly committed murder, dealt drugs, engaged in shootouts with other gangs and other crimes.
On Thursday (June 2), Young Thug appeared in court via Zoom to enter a plea regarding his racketeering charges. He pleaded not guilty.
Steel asked the judge to grant Young Thug a pre-trial bond. Additionally, Steel asked for home confinement with electronic monitoring under the strictest circumstances.
The rapper’s lawyer presented an expert witness named Charles Mittelstadt, an expert criminal defense investigator, to support Young Thug’s proposal to get a bond. He revealed Young Thug had four properties, one of which could be used to house him with GPS ankle monitoring, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mittelstadt also revealed he lined up physical monitoring with 24 police officers to keep tabs on the rapper, search any potential visitors to the residence and keep contraband material out of the rap star’s house.
Each visitor would be searched and wanded. Just to pay for the staffing of police would cost Young Thug over $1 million per year.
Young Thug also agreed to close circuit monitoring inside and outside via the security systems at his home. The rapper also agreed to have no internet access and no cell phone access.
Young Thug’s lawyer and Mittelstadt hoped to prove the rapper would not be a danger to the community if he was granted bond.
To continue his career, Young Thug asked to have studio equipment brought in so he could continue recording music.
Young Thug’s business partner and 300 Entertainment founder Kevin Liles was the next witness.
Liles vowed to put up his company assets to back Young Thug’s motion for bond. He questioned why Young Thug’s rap lyrics were on trial during teary-eyed testimony.
“It’s funny how we’re the number one music in the world now, and they want to bring this back up,” Liles said, referring to the prosecution’s attempt to use Young Thug’s lyrics against him.
“We don’t argue about any other movies or genres of music that talk about ‘I ran them over in my truck,’ or ‘I got drunk and went and shot him,'” he said. “We don’t bring those things to court. Court. But ‘our music,’ we’ve been on trial. And we’re constantly on trial about who we are, what we are. Ain’t nobody gave us nothing. So we sit here on trial, and we talk about lyrics? I don’t understand. I’m going to keep fighting for it. Because I believe in self-expression. And I believe we should protect black art.”
Prosecutor Don Geary flatly objected to Brian Steel’s assertation that Young Thug was not a danger to the community.
“This is all about money,” he said. “This is an attempt to say, ‘Judge, I can buy a bond.’ Respect to the court. Judge, everything you heard was someone that has a financial interest or some other professional interest relying on Mr. Williams. Yes, they need him out. Yes, they need him to be there. Yes, it’s very important to them because it’s all about the money.”
Geary told the court that witnesses in the case have been “threatened with violence.” He didn’t claim Young Thug ordered the threats but insist the rapper is the mastermind behind the YSL gang. He also downplayed the notion of Thugger’s efforts in the community.
“Bad people sometimes do good things,” he said before referencing the Gambino crime family. “That’s what he put up – he put up the appearance in the community and people that are financially dependent upon him.”
On a side note, the prosecution presented arguments regarding Brian Steel, the lawyer representing Thug. The state claimed that hiring Steel to represent the artist was a conflict of interest since he represented another defendant indicted on a different and unrelated case.
The judge ruled that Steel can represent Young Thug for the time being and that the court plans to return to the issue in August. The rapper is slated to go to trial in January 2023.
As previously reported, Yak Gotti, whose legal name is Deamonte Kendrick, went up first and was denied bond. Glanville ruled that the artist should not be released after he was caught with a cellphone in jail.