Young Thug trial resumes next week after defendant stabbed in jail

YSL defendant Shannon Stillwell (left) speaks with defense attorney Max Schardt at the Fulton County Courthouse Tuesday, September 12, 2023.   (Steve Schaefer/

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

YSL defendant Shannon Stillwell (left) speaks with defense attorney Max Schardt at the Fulton County Courthouse Tuesday, September 12, 2023. (Steve Schaefer/

Weeks after a defendant was stabbed in Fulton County’s troubled jail, the high-profile gang and racketeering case against Atlanta rapper Young Thug and five of his alleged associates will resume next week.

Judge Ural Glanville had planned on a holiday reprieve but released the jury a couple of days before he intended to after Shannon Stillwell was stabbed at the Fulton County Jail.

Stillwell’s attorney said Wednesday that his client, who was taken to a hospital after the stabbing, will be back in court on Jan. 2.

“While I am not at liberty to discuss Shannon’s current location, I am able to confirm that he is recovering and getting stronger every day,” defense attorney Max Schardt said in a statement. “Shannon appreciates the well wishes of so many. We look forward to being back in court when trial resumes on Jan. 2.”

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Stillwell is back at the jail.

Stillwell was stabbed multiple times on Dec. 10 during a fight with fellow inmate Willie Brown. Brown, facing murder charges stemming from a 2020 incident, now faces charges of aggravated assault and possession of prohibited items in connection with Stillwell’s stabbing, authorities said.

The two were being housed in the same area of the jail, but Schardt, said he did not know exactly what led to the attack.

“We do know that Shannon has a target on his back due to the false allegations in this RICO indictment,” Schardt said in a statement after the stabbing.

Chief Judge Ural Glanville talks to the court after he put the YSL trial on hold until next year after one of the defendants was stabbed over the weekend at the Fulton County Jail. (Steve Schaefer/

Credit: Steve Schaefer

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Credit: Steve Schaefer

The Fulton jail is being investigated by a Georgia Senate panel and the U.S. Department of Justice due to dangerous conditions, overcrowding and a backlog of cases. Since January, 10 detainees have died in the custody of the Fulton sheriff’s office, the majority of them inside the Rice Street facility.

Stillwell was one of 28 people charged in last year’s sprawling gang indictment alongside Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams. Prosecutors allege Williams is the leader of “Young Slime Life,” which they contend is a Bloods-affiliated street gang based in south Atlanta.

Attorneys for the musician maintain their client is innocent. They say YSL stands for “Young Stoner Life” and is simply the name of the star’s record label.

Stillwell faces eight charges, including conspiring to violate the state’s racketeering statute, two counts of murder, two counts of participation in criminal street gang activity, two counts of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He has been in custody since his March 2022 arrest.

Jury selection began Jan. 4. Opening statements began Nov. 27. The state has called 27 witnesses so far in an attempt to focus on overt acts that prosecutors alleged members of YSL did in furtherance of the gang. Prosecutors expect to call hundreds more witnesses in the coming months. The trial could take up to a year.