Young Thug‘s lawyer has issued a statement as YSL artists Lil Duke and SlimeLife Shawty became the latest to accept plea deals in the crew’s ongoing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations case.
The two up-and-coming rappers became the third and fourth defendants arrested under the sweeping YSL indictment in May to be released this week after negotiating with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office.
Their plea deals were preceded by similar arrangements for Gunna on Wednesday (December 14) and YSL co-founder Walter Murphy on Friday (December 16).
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lil Duke, born Martinez Arnold, saw five drug and gun charges dropped in exchange for his guilty plea on one count of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s RICO act and one count of participation in criminal street gang activity.
Lil Duke has also took a plea in the YSL Rico case. He’s getting timed served and a suspended 10 year sentence. pic.twitter.com/URxo8Hb0R9
— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) December 17, 2022
Two years of Duke’s 12-year sentence were commuted, allowing him to walk out of the Fulton County Jail on Friday. He will serve the remaining 10 years of the term on probation. While Lil Duke hails from Chicago, the YSL affiliate currently lives in California and has been granted permission to go back there as part of his release.
Lil Duke’s deal also stipulates that he may be called to testify in the case at a later date, but reserves the right to plead the Fifth while being questioned.
SlimLife Shawty was sentenced to ten years after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO act as a first time offender. The Atlanta-native also entered an Alford Plea, which means he continues to maintain his innocence, but acknowledges that it was in his best interest to accept the deal offered by prosecutors.
Following his release, SlimLife Shawty issued a statement via his Instagram Stories to squash any rumors that his deal involved any accusations against the others named in the YSL indictment.
YSL’s Lil Duke & SlimeLife Shawty accept plea deal in RICO case https://t.co/FoC4kxW3kg pic.twitter.com/4qTeL3o2fI
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 17, 2022
Judge Ural Glanville placed both YSL affiliates under a curfew from 10 p.m to 6 a.m., local time, unless they are working, going to school or have a medical emergency.
In a recent interview as part of an 11Alive documentary about Young Thug’s case, his attorney Brian Steel said that he feels that the plea deals are proof that authorities are targeting his client.
“He’s like the easy target,” Steel explained. “So, somebody gets arrested and gets in trouble and they want to deal. Law enforcement officers are all too eager to say, ‘Well, tell us about Mr. Williams. Is he involved in this? What do you know about him?’
“That’s the problem with this case” the attorney added. “It’s coming from the word of people who are getting deals to say, ‘Yeah, he was there or I saw him around or he gave the order or I heard from someone else. He gave the order.’ That’s what this case is about.
He continued: “When you target a human being who’s so well-known, you make it so easy for the other person to say, ‘Oh, you mean I could be released from this location that I don’t want to be? All I have to say is I know some about Jeffrey Williams?’ That’s pretty scary.”