Young Thug and YSL RICO Trial: Opening Statements Begin, Mistrial Motion Denied

Ahead of the trial, a judge said lyrics could be used in the case.

Video via Law & Crime Trial Network

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Video via Law & Crime Trial Network

Young Thug’s YSL RICO trial began on Monday in Georgia.

As is typical of such proceedings, the first day of the trial did not start at its scheduled time. This was due, at least in part, to the absence of a juror who was later determined to have made a belated arrival after experiencing transportation issues. 

From there, opening statements kicked off, with on-the-scene reporter Jewel Wicker noting that attorney Adriane Love, speaking for the prosecution, quoted from The Jungle Book and alleged that Thug's YSL had been engaged in a "war" with the Inglewood Family Gang.

Prosecutor Love says YSL was at "war" with the IF (Inglewood Family) Gang that led to the death of Donovan Thomas in 2015. In the months following his death, she says, no less than 50 shootings occurred. She alleges YSL "stole at least three lives" over the last 10 years.

— Jewel Wicker (@jewelwickershow) November 27, 2023

The prosecution's opening remarks swiftly spurred a mistrial motion from Thug's attorney, Brian Steel. According to Steel, prosecutors engaged in “intentional misconduct” on Monday by not sharing “all of their displays and opening statements” as previously ordered by the judge.

"Three weeks ago, you ordered the parties to share all of their displays and opening statement to the others so we don’t have to have these interruptions. I did that," Steel said. "The state shared with me four attachments. That’s all they had. That’s what I got."

Continuing, Steel presented the court with a question.

“How do we just violate court order?” he said. “So, yes. I have a serious motion for a mistrial, because it’s intentional misconduct.”

Had they done that, defense attorneys could've pointed out anything that was wrong or supposed to be excluded ahead of opening statements. We only got about 20 minutes into the prosecution's opening statements before breaking for lunch.

— Jewel Wicker (@jewelwickershow) November 27, 2023

The motion was ultimately denied, as seen below.

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Video via 11Alive

Both Young Thug and Gunna were among those named in an indictment last year alleging Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations. Thug was booked into Fulton County Jail in Georgia that May following a raid of his home. In December, Gunna's legal team announced their client had been released following an Alford plea.

"An Alford plea in my case is the entry of a guilty plea to the one charge against me, which is in my best interest, while at the same time maintaining my innocence toward the same charge," Gunna said at the time. "I love and cherish my association with YSL music, and always will."

Young Thug has remained behind bars since his initial arrest. Ahead of the trial, a judge said that lyrics could be used in the case.

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