Young Thug may find himself in a challenging position during his RICO trial, primarily due to his own statements.
In May 2022, Young Thug and 27 others were indicted under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The charges ranged from murder to carjacking. While many members, including Gunna, have since taken plea deals, Young Thug staunchly maintains his innocence.
He argues that YSL merely stands for “Young Stoner Life” and is a record label. However, the prosecution contends that YSL is an acronym for “Young Slime Life” and paints Young Thug as the mastermind behind a notorious drug-dealing gang in Atlanta.
To bolster their case, they’ve presented a two-hour interview with Young Thug in the months following a harrowing incident involving Lil Wayne’s tour bus.
In July of 2015, near Atlanta, Lil Wayne’s touring convoy was ambushed with gunfire. The alleged assailant, Jimmy “Peewee Roscoe” Winfrey, was later linked to the attack.
The music community was rife with rumors suggesting the shooting resulted from ongoing disputes between Lil Wayne and Birdman since the former was trying to leave Cash Money Records. Officials in Cobb County suspected Young Thug may have ordered the shooting.
Winfrey was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the 2015 shooting of Lil Wayne’s tour bus. However, he was released from prison in November 2020. Just two years after his release, Peewee Roscoe faced re-indictment on RICO charges related to the YSL case.
Days after the 2015 incident involving Lil Wayne, Young Thug was detained on an unrelated charge for making terroristic threats, but the conversation with the police largely revolved around the attack on Lil Wayne.
While at the DeKalb County Jail, a detective named David Raissi from Cobb County and federal agent Tyra Cunningham visited the rapper. They wanted to talk to him about the incident involving Lil’ Wayne’s tour bus.
Before being read his rights, Detective Raissi told Young Thug that he wasn’t being charged for the shooting, and neither he nor Agent Cunningham planned to charge him for it. In fact, Young Thug was never charged for the shooting. He was only in jail for the separate threat charge from DeKalb County.
Young Thug had a lawyer, but only for the DeKalb County issue.
Even so, the detective and agent read Williams his rights. Young Thug didn’t sign the rights form but talked about the shooting with them for about two hours.
The chat was paused for 15 minutes because Williams had a hearing about the DeKalb issue. He came back and continued the conversation. He never asked for a lawyer during his talk with authorities.
Young Thug desperately tried to suppress the lengthy conversation, claiming that his right to have counsel present was violated and, thus, should not be admissible in his current RICO case.
Since Young Thug wasn’t charged for ordering the hit on Lil Wayne’s tour bus, Judge Ural Glanville decided his right to have a lawyer present during questioning wasn’t violated.
This is because the right to have a lawyer only starts when you’re charged with a specific crime. So, in this case, the court found that Williams didn’t yet have the right to a lawyer for the tour bus incident.
Judge Glanville indicated that the two-hour dialogue between Young Thug and the police would be deemed admissible evidence during the RICO trial.
“[Young Thug] o##### waived his Miranda rights before speaking with Detective Raissi and Agent Cunningham. [Young Thug’s]’ statements to them were voluntary and thus admissible. The evidence presented showed that [Young Thug] voluntarily waived his Miranda rights o#####, despite his refusal to sign the Miranda waiver form, after [Young Thug] was read his rights. An oral waiver of Miranda is a proper waiver of such rights,” Judge Glanville explained.
As previously highlighted by AllHipHop, Young Thug is gearing up to summon several renowned witnesses to vouch for him, including T.I., Killer Mike, Lyor Cohen, and Trae the Truth. The trial has yet to begin. It has been hampered by several delays as both sides attempt to pick jurors.
Firstly, the trial was postponed because some of his co-defendants needed legal representation. In another incident, a prison guard was busted for attempting to smuggle contraband into a defendant awaiting trial.
And yet another wild moment: one of the YSL defendants was accused of conducting a hand-to-hand drug deal with Young Thug in open court.
Adding to these complications, Young Thug’s health became a concern when he was hospitalized for two consecutive days, causing further delays in the YSL RICO case.