Young Thug has been denied bond in the highly-publicized RICO case against his record label, Young Stoner Life. Judge Ural Glanville operated under the idea that Thug, legal name Jeffery Williams, could potentially be confrontational to witnesses if released, Billboard reports.
“I realize that Mr. Williams is presumed innocent,” Judge Glanville said. “However, in this particular circumstance, there have been significant [claims] about Mr. Williams being a danger to the community.”
Prosecutor Don Geary argued that the rapper should not be able to “buy” his way out of jail after the rapper’s attorney Brian Steel expressed Young Thug would personally pay for an expensive house arrest plan. Geary also argued that witnesses were already being “threatened with serious violence and death,” and also claimed other alleged gang members feared Young Thug and retaliation.
“They have stated uniformly that Mr. Williams is dangerous, they are afraid of him, that if they cross him he will kill them and their family,” Geary reportedly said to Judge Glanville. “And they were very clear about that.”
During the hearing, an 88-page indictment against both rappers plus the 26 others charged where investigators claim “YSL” was not a record label called “Young Stoner Life” but really a violent street gang called “Young Slime Life” that committed crimes including murder, carjacking, drug dealing, robbery, and more. Those speaking on Young Thug’s behalf included members of the music community who shared their positive experiences with the “Bad Bad Bad” rapper. Kevin Liles, founder and CEO of Warner Music Group’s recently-acquired 300 Entertainment delivered emotional testimony.
“I truly believe, this whole thing, it’s not him,” Liles explained. “That’s not the Jeffery I know. The Jeffery I know would give me the clothes off his back.”
Musician Machine Gun Kelly and music industry professional Lyor Cohen also added statements on behalf of Young Thug’s character.
300 Entertainment CEO Kevin Liles advocates for rapper Young Thug to be released on bond: “[He’s] like a son to me.”
Young Thug was arrested last month on gang-related charges. pic.twitter.com/bmeP4aWBx6
— The Recount (@therecount) June 2, 2022
Support for both Young Thug and Gunna is not contained by the courtroom. Since their arrest, many industry peers have spoken out against the charges, and the criminalization of rap music. Meek Mill, who has become an advocate for prison reform due to his own legal woes, recently shared his view that the “Hot” rappers deserved bail.
“Free thug … free gunna … free ysl … everybody deserves a bail!” he exclaimed on social media.
Additionally, rapper Cordae also spoke out against the indictment.
“Free the Whole YSL Family! They showed me more genuine love than damn near anybody!” he tweeted. “Protect Black Art! Also Using Lyrics against someone on trial is nuts! It’s a form of self expression that shouldn’t be used in a literal sense especially in a court of law!!!”
Young Thug is behind bars and will remain in custody until trial, which is currently scheduled for January 9, 2023.