ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – With jury selection set to resume July 10 in Young Thug’s massive RICO trial, attorney Brian Steel has been relentless in his efforts to, at least, get the rapper out of jail on bond and, at most, dismiss all of the organized crime-related charges against his client.
Brian Steel is the Atlanta-based attorney heading up Jeffery Lamar Williams’ (that’s the rapper’s real name) defense. Young Thug has been in jail for more than a year awaiting trial on numerous RICO-related charges, and Steel has filed several motions (one of which is completely listed below) to free his client on bond.
On May 11, Young Thug was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Steel had filed a motion in late April to secure bond, in which he said, “since on or about May 9, 2022, Mr. Williams has been languishing in the County Jail without bond. Mr. Williams has previously put forth compelling evidence, without doubt… that conditions can be imposed which permit bonds to be set.
“This Honorable Court denied bond based upon proffers made by the prosecution, mostly repeating the allegations contained in the Indictment,” Steel continued in motion. “Undersigned counsel believes that conditions can be set to ensure that Mr. Williams comes back to Court when required to do so, and due to the extended nature of this trial, Mr. Williams respectfully requests this Honorable Court considers its position on bond.”
In late May, Steel filed another motion to free his client, which can be read below:
Now, according to XXL, Steel filed a motion on June 23 to drop all RICO charges against his client and the remaining eight standing trial with him, based on a statute of limitations.
Williams is facing eight criminal counts under a federal law that was originally enacted to fight organized crime.
The federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law was passed and signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. According to the US Department of Justice, it allows prosecutors to link apparently unrelated crimes with a common objective into a prosecutable pattern of racketeering.
Here’s how the RICO Act is being used in the Young Thug trial.
RICO also provides for more severe penalties and permits a defendant to be convicted and separately punished for the underlying crimes that constituted a racketeering pattern.
Georgia is one of 33 states that has its own RICO law, but in the Peach State, the alleged criminal enterprises do not exist as long as the federal law.
Jury selection – which has already lasted longer than any other in Georgia history, and has been repeatedly plagued by arrests, charges and disruptions – has been halted until July 10, according to the senior staff attorney to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville, who is overseeing the RICO trial of Young Thug.
In June, a Fulton County deputy was arrested on charges she had an “inappropriate relationship” with a defendant.
Christian Eppinger was severed from the case after deputies seized his attorney’s laptop a week before. Eppinger’s attorney, Eric Johnson, said the state believes his client used the laptop to communicate with Akeiba Koren Stanley, a Fulton deputy who was arrested and charged with hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal, violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit a felony and reckless conduct.
Several of the court-appointed defense attorneys in the trial recently raised concerns about their low wages and extremely high workloads. As a result of the pressure and the trial’s high international profile, the Georgia Public Defender Council raised the attorneys’ $15,000 flat rate to a monthly increase capped $55,000. This came after one of those attorneys, Angela D’Williams, sent a subpoena to the head of the agency in order to discuss the pay.
Download our Atlanta News First app for the latest details on Young Thug’s historical trial.
Copyright 2023 WANF. All rights reserved.