YSL trial: Rapper Young Thug taken to hospital for second day in a row

Proceedings suspended for the day

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Atlanta rapper Young Thug was taken to the hospital again Friday morning after reportedly feeling sick before court proceedings were to begin, attorneys said. As a result jury selection, which began Jan. 4, was postponed for a second consecutive day.

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is standing trial in the sweeping “Young Slime Life” gang case against him and a number of alleged associates. It was unclear what Williams’ condition was on Thursday, but his attorney, Keith Adams, said his client wasn’t feeling well so he went to the hospital to get checked out.

“My understanding is when he went to go be seen by a doctor, he was OK, he was alert,” Adams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday afternoon. “I don’t have any reason to believe he is in any serious condition. He just wasn’t feeling well.”

Defense attorneys said Williams was brought back to the courthouse on Friday morning before complaining again that he wasn’t feeling well, so he was taken for additional testing.

This week marked a year since Williams was indicted on RICO and gang charges by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. He has been held in the Cobb County Jail since his arrest on May 9, 2022. His lawyers have tried repeatedly to get him out on bond, but Chief Judge Ural Glanville has denied that each time.

In Williams’ most recent motion for bond, his defense attorneys said the rapper only has access to a limited number of nutritious foods, including carrots, rice, lettuce, beans and hot dogs. The rest of his diet consists mostly of chocolate, chips and other processed foods, and exercise is limited within the confines of his cell, they said.

The attorneys also said Williams has been “languishing” in jail since his arrest last year.

According to the motion, Williams is sleep-deprived and doesn’t get more than five hours of rest because he has to wake up between 3 and 4 a.m. on court days. They said that results in Williams not being able to pay attention to court proceedings by the end of the week.

Williams has been in court nearly every day since jury selection began.

The Grammy-winning rapper and founder of YSL Records is accused of being a cofounder and co-leader of Young Slime Life, an alleged criminal street gang based in southwest Atlanta. Williams’ attorneys maintain their client is innocent and that YSL is simply a record label.

Williams’ attorneys could have waived their client’s presence and proceeded without him but apparently decided not to for the second day in a row.

“We could have gone forward if we waived his presence, but we did not do that,” Adams said after Thursday’s episode. “It’s never, in my opinion, in his best interest to have anything occur without him being there.”

Another defendant, Quamarvious Nichols, left Monday after becoming ill but agreed to let the court proceedings continue with his attorney representing him.

The incidents mark the latest delays in the already lengthy jury selection process. The trial is expected to take at least six to nine months.