Young Thug‘s ongoing RICO trial has been delayed once again, as the Atlanta metro area was placed under storm and tornado warnings on day seven of jury selection.
According to a tweet by Law & Crime executive producer Cathy Runsson, the jury selection process was halted around 12:30 p.m. local time on Thursday (January 12), as the city of Atlanta and all surrounding cities were put on high alert due to impending severe weather.
A Level 3 (out of a possible 5) warning was issued for all of North Georgia, as forecasters predicted damaging winds with speeds up to 60 MPH, and the possibility of tornadoes, 11 Alive reported. Several Atlanta-area counties also closed schools a few hours early and cancelled all after-school activities, as local residents were urged to seek shelter and get off the roads before the line of storms began.
“Jury selection ends early on day 7 in #YoungThug RICO case,” Runsson tweeted on Thursday. “There’s a storm coming this afternoon in Atlanta. Day 8 of jury selection won’t start until 12pm ET Friday as Judge runs Veteran’s court Friday mornings.”
Jury selection ends early on day 7 in #YoungThug RICO case. There's a storm coming this afternoon in Atlanta. Day 8 of jury selection won't start until 12pm ET Friday as Judge runs Veteran's court Friday mornings. pic.twitter.com/bgQGB9nzVM
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) January 12, 2023
Jury selection for the upcoming Young Slime Life (YSL) trial — which will see Young Thug and 13 co-defendants tried together — began on January 4, when potential jurors watched a three-hour video of Judge Ural Glanville reading the sweeping indictment that saw 28 YSL affiliates arrested under RICO charges.
Included in the reading were select lyrics from Thugger’s 2016 single “Slime Shit,” which prosecutors have sought to include as evidence, calling music released by the YSL crew “overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy,” WSB-TV reports.
Young Thug’s attorneys filed a motion last November asking to exclude songs, lyrics, music videos and social posts from the evidence in the trial. However the prosecution has defended their use of lyrics in the courtroom as they believe Thug’s words are “preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power, and territory of the enterprise [YSL].”
Close to 600 residents of Fulton County have been summoned for jury duty. If chosen, they will be tasked with deciding Thugger’s fate, along with the 13 members of his YSL crew, an acronym which interchangeably stands for the Young Slime Life gang he’s been accused of co-founding and his Young Stoner Life Records imprint.
As part of the selection process, potential jurors were asked to fill out a 250-question survey to help attorneys on both sides determine whether these Atlanta residents would be qualified to participate in the trial. Included in the questionnaire were specific questions about YSL, including whether participants have heard of the label or the gang, whether they’ve attended a YSL concert, or know anyone who wears “Slime Life” clothing.
The questionnaire also included general questions about people’s opinions on physical appearance, like “Do you have an opinion about a person who has head and neck tattoos?” or “Do you have an opinion about a person who has dreadlocks or tattoos?”
Elsewhere, jurors were asked if they were familiar with a number of rappers including Gunna, who accepted a plea deal in this case and is not expected to testify at Young Thug’s trial; Rich Homie Quan, Lil Wayne and Birdman, who have all worked with the rapper and appear on the prosecution’s witness list; and YFN Lucci, who is believed to have been the leader of a rival gang.
The jury selection process has already seen its fair share of drama, with one woman being ordered to write a 30-page essay after skipping jury duty in favor of a vacation to the Dominican Republic, per WSB-TV.
On Tuesday (January 10) Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steele claimed that another potential juror in his client’s ongoing RICO case attempted to reach out to him via email. While the contents of the message weren’t disclosed during the hearing, it was enough for the judge to order an investigation.
Jury selection in Young Thug’s trial is expected to last five to six weeks, while the trial itself could go on for up to a year.