Young Thug‘s RICO trial has concluded its third day and it has hit yet another snag as some members of the jury were identified via a live stream.
On Wednesday (November 29), Judge Ural Glanville confirmed that four of the jurors had been seen on film and were identified on social media.
As seen in a screenshot captured by No Jumper, one person had commented: “I know that n-gga with the glasses on!!! That’s [redacted name] he is on the jury.”
Judge Glanville asked the media in the room to discontinue filming Detective Mark Belknap’s face as he testified, but said that audio would still be allowed. Belknap is an 18-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department, as well as Vice President of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association. During his time on the stand, he testified that YSL was a hybrid street gang.
The YSL RICO trial officially got off the ground on Monday (November 27) after months of delays and over a year-and-a-half since Thug was put behind bars. And it has been rocky from the start.
According to Billboard, the room opened with Fulton County Chief Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love reading a passage from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book about wolf packs, then drawing the comparison to YSL, saying that Thug’s gang had similarly “operated as a pack.”
“For 10 years and counting, the group calling itself ‘Young Slime Life’ dominated the Cleveland Avenue community,” Love claimed. “They created a crater … that sucked in the youth and innocence and even the lives of some its youngest members.”
The hearing started over an hour late, however, because a juror was missing. In addition, Love did not finish her opening statement, as minutes into it, there were so many objections that Judge Glanville was forced to clear the jury from the courtroom.
Young Thug’s legal team claimed that she was “burden shifting” in her explanation of the case to jurors – wrongly making it appear that the defendants would need to prove that they were innocent. Eventually, Thugger’s lawyer, Brian Steel, moved for a mistrial after he claimed Love had shown jurors evidence that had already been banned from the case.
The request was denied, though Judge Glanville did reprimand Love and her team for how they opened. A lunch break was then called and there were “extended disputes” between both sides, and jurors returned to continue opening statements through the afternoon.
On day two, Young Thug’s attorney gave a dramatic speech about the origin of the rapper’s stage name, and it turns out it’s a lot deeper than it appears.
In front of a packed courtroom on Tuesday (November 28), Brian Steel revealed that “Thug” is an acronym, and a rather holy one at that.
“What [the name] means to Jeffery is something very personal,” the lawyer said. “It was his pact that if he could ever make it as a musical artist, and help his family, himself, and many others out of this endless cycle of hopelessness, he would be Truly Humbled Under God. That’s what ‘Thug’ means.”
The trial is expected to last upwards of a year. It will continue on Thursday (November 30).