The Fulton County District Attorney’s office has revealed that a witness in the Young Thug racketeering case is receiving death threats to his person and his family and children.
Earlier this week, a document has been circulating claiming that a person familiar with Young Thug has cut a deal with prosecutors to rat out the rapper in exchange for a lighter sentence from an ongoing case he is serving.
The document has been circulating on social media, not only revealing the witness’ name but also sharing a photograph of him. It’s unclear who shared the document, but the District Attorney’s office said the leak of that document placed the life of the witness at risk for harm.
On Tuesday (Aug 16), the D.A’s office said the leak resulted in the witness and their family members receiving death threats.
Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis and Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steel both expressed concern about the leak as it revealed that the witness is a known “YSL affiliate.”
“YSL enthusiasts and/or actual gang members are threatening someone they believe is cooperating with the State,” Willis told WSB-TV. “And not only that person, but their very small children,” she said.
The document that has been leaked has been confirmed to be a document shared in discovery between the prosecution and the defense.
Discovery is required by law based on the principle of fairness as the prosecution is required to declare the evidence it has against a defendant, so he has a fair chance to prepare his defense. Thug’s racketeering trial is set for January of 2023, and discovery is one of the first processes to get the parties ready for trial.
In the meantime, the D.A’s office is investigating to find the source of the leak. Thug’s attorney said the leak is detrimental to the case and could result in harm to witnesses.
“This is putting people at risk and it’s poisoning the jury pool,” Steel said in an interview with WSB-TV. “Please stop immediately. Whomever is placing items of discovery online is not doing anybody a favour. It is totally inappropriate to try to try this case on social media. This will be tried fairly and justly in Fulton County Superior Court.”
The District Attorney also said steps have been taken to protect the witness.
“We are going to have to do things to make sure that the witnesses are safe,” she added. “We need people to understand that they can cooperate, they can do the right thing, and the State will be here to protect them.”
In the meantime, Young Thug and fellow rapper Gunna are remanded to jail as they were denied bail by the sitting judge, who was told by the prosecution that the men pose a danger to the witnesses if released. At the time, the prosecution said that some YSL gang members have offered to be witnesses in the trial.
The rappers are among 28 other defendants who are on trial for violating Georgia’s racketeering act. Prosecutors say that the group is a gang and Young Thug is the leader, while Gunna operates in a “commander” role.
Thug is also facing separate charges for a cache of firearms found in his house during a police raid in May.