In a first-floor courtroom, jury selection continued in another sprawling RICO case brought by Willis — the gang trial of Atlanta rapper Young Thug and his alleged associates. That case, which highlights some of the challenges associated with trying multiple defendants at once, is on pace to become the longest trial in state history. Jury selection began Jan. 4; as of Aug. 15 not a single juror has been seated.
One hurdle facing attorneys and court administrators in that case has been finding potential jurors who are able to take off work for six to nine months, the amount of time expected to try the case.
The trial has also been plagued by a series of delays ranging from contraband being brought into court to jurors and lawyers getting in trouble.
One defense attorney was arrested, another had his laptop seized and a courtroom deputy was fired and jailed, accused of having an inappropriate romantic relationship with one of the defendants. There have also been multiple instances of drugs being brought into court, law enforcement officers scuffling with defendants and potential jurors being held in contempt for failing to show up.
Chief Judge Ural Glanville, who is presiding over the case, set the jury selection schedule for the rest of the week on Tuesday. He had been “taking it one day at a time” ahead of the looming indictments.
Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is accused of being a co-founder and leader of “Young Slime Life,” which prosecutors say is a criminal street gang based in south Atlanta. The rapper’s attorneys strongly deny the charges and say YSL, or Young Stoner Life, is simply the name of the star’s record label.
Opening statements are likely still months away as jury selection continues to drag on.