Young Thug case: Jury seated after nearly 10 months

The selection process started in January
Judge Ural Glanville is seen in court during the ongoing “Young Slime Life” gang trial in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Judge Ural Glanville is seen in court during the ongoing “Young Slime Life” gang trial in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

It took nearly 10 months, but a jury was finally selected Wednesday in the sprawling gang and racketeering case against Atlanta rapper Young Thug and six others.

In the end, the panel of 18, which includes 12 trial jurors and six alternates, was selected around 3 p.m. after almost two hours of discussion between attorneys. The 12 trial jurors include seven Black women, two Black men, two white women and one white man. The six alternates are made up of four Black women, one Black man and one white man.

No challenges were issued by either prosecutors or defense attorneys.

Jurors are now expected to serve on a trial that will last months and is slated to start on Nov. 27.

On Wednesday, the jury selection process scheduled to start at 10 a.m. was delayed for a couple of hours after two potential jurors did not appear Wednesday morning.

One of the absent prospective jurors was a flight attendant who was out of town and notified the court of that. Judge Ural Glanville excused the juror but ordered her to report back on Nov. 15 to explain why she wasn’t available on Wednesday morning.

“I have to make certain decisions,” Glanville said.

Atlanta rapper Young Thug (center) is seen in court during the ongoing “Young Slime Life” gang trial in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

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Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Another prospective juror overslept and did not arrive to the courthouse until 12:30 p.m. He was not selected.

Glanville had originally set the Monday after Thanksgiving as the date to seat a jury but Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, brought to the court’s attention an issue relating to the speedy trial demand he had filed on behalf of his client. If a jury was not seated by the start of the next court term, which is Nov. 6, the charges could have been dismissed.

Since January, more than 2,000 Fulton County residents were summoned to fulfill their civic duty. It took nine months to seat the jury due to a variety of factors from jurors getting in trouble to defendants being severed from the case and deputies being arrested.

Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love is seen in court during the ongoing “Young Slime Life” gang trial in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

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Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Next week, attorneys will argue a series of motions relating to music lyrics from Young Thug and others being used as evidence of gang and criminal activity. Two excused jurors, who were held in contempt of court earlier this year, will have to be in the courtroom for the first two weeks of trial, as part of their sentence.

A May 2022 indictment charged Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, and 27 of his alleged associates with violating the state’s RICO Act. Prosecutors have argued that YSL is a gang and Young Thug is one of its leaders and founders. Defense attorneys say it’s a record label.

Bond has been denied multiple times for the Grammy-winning rapper and his co-defendants since they were arrested in May 2022. Out of the 28 defendants originally named in the indictment, only seven are set to go to trial at the end of the month after eight, including Gunna and Young Thug’s brother Quantavious Grier, took plea deals and 12 others had their cases severed.

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