Young Thug and Gunna’s attorneys are planning to request bail after the DA request a trial delay by two months.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has filed a motion to have the racketeering trial for Young Thug, Gunna, and other YSL defendants pushed back to March 2023 because a sizable amount of the defendants have still not been appointed counsel.
Most of the defendants have been in custody since May, and they were set to appear for trial on January 9, 2023. The defendants have been impacted by strict orders by the court to remain in police custody until the trial date.
So far, Young Thug and Gunna, and other members have been denied bond. According to Willis in a 10-page Motion for Discontinuance, the prosecution wants the trial date to shift to March 27, 2023, more than two months from the original date.
According to the D.A, eight (8) defendants in custody have not appointed counsel to represent them. The D.A also says that of the total 28 defendants, only 25 are in custody, as the remaining three defendants: Javaris Bradford, Justin Cobb, and Jimmy Winfrey, all remain at large.
According to her, the prosecution wants the trial date delayed “so that all defendants may obtain counsel and that counsel may be properly prepared for trial.”
Willis’ arguments to support the motion were backed by the constitutional guarantee of the right to counsel and the fact that if a defendant is not adequately represented, the court will commit a “structural error,” something that defendants may use in the future to challenge any findings of the court. Her second argument was that the law required the defendants all be tried on one indictment in a joint trial.
The filing noted that while eight of the defendants are without lawyers, a ninth defendant is also on the verge of being unrepresented as his lawyer has filed a motion to withdraw from the case, while a tenth defendant is likely to become unrepresented as his lawyer is already on the record for another defendant and the prosecution plans to address his appointment with the judge.
Willis explained that despite several attempts by the court that the Georgia Public Defender’s Council appoints lawyers for the unrepresented defendants, counsel had still not been appointed for those defendants up to October 5, when the court last convened to address the same issue.
According to Willis, Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, and another defendant have both asserted their right to a speedy trial and have filed motions to that effect. However, she argued that a delay would not prejudice their right.
She also said that there is about three terabytes worth of evidence to go through, and the delayed period would offer the counsel of the eight defendants the time they need to properly prepare their defense.
Meanwhile, Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel told 11 Alive that he and his client are against the motion, especially as his client would have spent almost ten months in jail if the trial is shifted to march.
“Mr. Williams and I oppose the State’s Motion to Continue and delay the trial date until March 27, 2023,” Steel said.
“The prosecution has opposed pre-trial bond for Mr. Williams, an innocent person who is bond eligible. Delay of our January 9, 2023 trial date is unjust and unconscionable,” he added,
Fellow rapper Gunna’s lawyer Steve Sadow also said that he is making another bond attempt for the rapper on October 13.
Gunna’s third bond attempt comes following a motion filed by his lawyer earlier this month after the prosecution re-drafted the RICO indictment and Gunna was not named a defendant for any violent crime or activity.
In the meantime, Willis’ filing says that it’s important for the defendants to be all tried together as the racketeering act says that severance would not be proper, particularly as the elements of the law require a joint trial.