Young Thug has submitted a list of witnesses ahead of his forthcoming RICO trial, and it includes multiple Hip Hop experts.
According to documents obtained by AllHipHop, Thug’s lawyer submitted the defense’s list of expert witnesses on Sunday (December 18).
Among the names is Hip Hop historian/expert Dr. Erik Nielson, who co-authored the book Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America, and two college professors who are listed as Hip Hop/lyrics experts, Dr. Adam Dunbar of the University of Nevada – Reno and Dr. Charis Kubrin of the University of California – Irvine.
Additional witnesses include a cell phone expert, a drug treatment counselor and an expert in video analysis.
The list comes amid a slew of plea deals being made in the RICO indictment that included Thug, Gunna and 26 other YSL members when arrests were made in May. Thug’s brother Unfoonk has been released after agreeing to a plea deal, as well as Gunna, Lil Duke, Slimelife Shawty and YSL co-founder Walter Murphy.
All released parties have been battling the “snitch” label upon returning home, of which they’ve all vehemently denied.
“Damn people really think I told on my own brother smh,” Unfoonk wrote on Instagram when he was released on Tuesday (December 20). “Show me in the paper work I told on anybody lol, I’m not even fenna entertain any of it, peace and blessings.”
Gunna pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge last week and was subsequently released from jail after being given a four-year sentence with one already served in prison. The rest of his sentence will be served in the form of 500 hours of community service.
He also put out a statement following his release where he denied snitching. “While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way,” he wrote.
He continued: “My focus of YSL was entertainment — rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community.”
In a recent interview as part of an 11Alive documentary about Young Thug’s case, his attorney Brian Steel said he feels 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?’”
He continued: “That’s the problem with this case. 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.”
According to Atlanta-based reporter George Chidi, it’s unlikely that Young Thug will be offered a plea deal as prosecutors view him as “the target of this case” and are seeking a conviction that will land him in prison. Jury selection in his trial is scheduled to begin on January 5, 2023.