Claiming a Fulton County prosecutor misled a judge last week when she referenced a text message in which a co-defendant allegedly offered to “whack someone” for jailed rapper Gunna, the musician’s attorneys are requesting a fourth bond hearing.
In a motion filed Monday, attorney Steve Sadow said prosecutors have continuously made claims that turned out to be false or misleading in their efforts to keep the star, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, behind bars.
“The State has failed to proffer a single violent act or a single threat to a witness by Kitchens or on Kitchens’ behalf,” Sadow wrote. “Repeatedly, the Court has questioned the prosecution about specific evidence that specifically links Kitchens to any threats or intimidation of any witness and the prosecution on each occasion has responded that no evidence of that kind currently exists.”
Gunna’s attorneys say the award-winning rapper, who faces one count in a sweeping gang indictment, is a good candidate for bond ahead of next year’s trial.
In a previous hearing, attorneys said Kitchens was willing to put up $750,000 and five houses as collateral, including his mother’s Fulton County home and his father’s house in Muscogee County.
Sadow said Kitchens was willing await trial on house arrest and gave the state permission to monitor the rapper’s cellphone and computer activity in the meantime. Judge Ural Glanville denied bond at that May hearing, siding with prosecutors who said the 28 people named in the indictment pose a “significant threat” to the community.
Prosecutors allege Kitchens and fellow rapper Young Thug are the leaders of a criminal street gang responsible for much of Atlanta’s violent crime. It’s a claim the rappers’ attorneys have strongly denied.
So far, none of the 25 people in custody have been granted bond in the case. Kitchens remains held at the Henry County jail while Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is being held in Cobb County.
The text message referenced by prosecutors at last Thursday’s hearing wasn’t even sent to the rapper, Sadow’s attorneys said in recent filings. It was actually written in June 2020 — nearly two years before Kitchens and 27 others were charged in the case.
“We have evidence that there are members of this organization who have conveyed their willingness to ‘whack’ or kill a person for the defendant,” prosecutor Adriane Love told the judge last week.
Prosecutors have previously cited ongoing threats to potential witnesses and suggested a nurse accused of bringing drugs into the Fulton jail earlier this year may have been trying to get the contraband to alleged “Young Slime Life” associates.
“We now know for certain that the State’s last-minute assertion at the third bond hearing ... where one person ‘offered to murder’ another person on Kitchens’ behalf, was undeniably false,” Sadow wrote. “This was an ambush by proffer, pure and simple. It has happened repeatedly.”
The state’s failure to correct any of its exaggerations and false proffers “is a blight on the Fulton County District Attorney’s office,” Sadow said in his motion.
“The defense is unable to understand why the court appears to be unconcerned with the accuracy of the information it is receiving,” he wrote.
Don Geary, who had been the lead prosecutor in the case, recently left the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for a job in Gwinnett.
Gunna has maintained his innocence from the beginning, saying the picture being painted of him by prosecutors is “ugly and untrue.”
“For now, I don’t have my freedom. But I am innocent,” the rapper wrote said in an open letter published on his 29th birthday. “I am being falsely accused and will never stop fighting to clear my name!”