Young Thug is being held in “dungeon-like conditions” and deserves bail or more humane treatment as he fights his “unconscionable and unconstitutional” RICO charge, says the Atlanta rapper’s attorney.
In a new emergency motion filed Friday and obtained by rolling StoneAttorney Brian Steel says his client has been placed in “solitary confinement” in a Georgia jail, relegated to a “windowless cement compartment with just a bed and a toilet and a ceiling light that stays on 24 hours a day.” of the day”. He says the musician, whose birth name is Jeffery Williams, is unable to sleep, rest or meditate due to the disorienting environment and “has no opportunity to exercise, shower or have human contact.”
“Mr. Williams, an innocent man, who is completely cut off from the world, must get immediate relief,” Steel writes in the motion.
Williams, 30, was arrested Monday on felony charges alleging violations of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. Fulton County prosecutors claim that he is a co-founder of a criminal street gang called Young Slime Life. They allege that the group, also known as YSL, conspired to carry out crimes ranging from drug trafficking, carjacking and armed robbery to assault with a deadly weapon and murder.
In a controversial move, prosecutors cited lyrics from some of the Grammy-winning rapper’s songs in the 56-count indictment that named 28 defendants, including fellow Atlanta rapper Gunna.
In his motion Friday, Steel criticized the attempt to portray Williams’ lyrics as “open” evidence that he engaged in conduct “in support of the conspiracy.” He says that Williams was “legally exercising her freedom of expression in her profession as a musical artist” when she recorded her songs.
“Using these words as a weapon charging overt acts to support an alleged conspiracy is unconscionable and unconstitutional under First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” he writes.
Steel particularly questions the allegation in the indictment that Williams bears some responsibility for the murder of rival gang member Donovan Thomas Jr. on January 10, 2015 because he rented a silver 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan allegedly related to the murder.
“The indictment alleges that more than seven years ago, Mr. Williams rented a vehicle from Hertz Rent-A-Car on an unknown date. and other people, days later, allegedly used this rented vehicle to commit the crime of homicide. There is no allegation by the grand jury that Mr. Williams had knowledge of this crime, had knowledge that this rental vehicle would be used in any alleged crime, or that Mr. Williams was a party to this alleged crime,” he argues.
A spokesman for the Fulton County District Attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from rolling Stone on Friday.
If convicted of a RICO charge, Williams could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Gunna’s attorneys filed a similar bail motion this week seeking to free the “Drip Too Hard” hitmaker.
“It is highly problematic that the state relies on song lyrics as part of its disagreements. These lyrics are the creative expression of an artist and not a literal retelling of facts and circumstances. Under the state’s theory, any artist with a song that references violence could be the victim of a RICO indictment,” the motion reads.