Why is Young Thug on trial? Jury selection suspended over drug smuggling allegations

FULTON COUNTY, Georgia– Weeks after jury selection began in the trial of rapper Young Thug, who faces gang allegations in a RICO indictment, the judge is still reviewing the grand jury pool in a month-long 14-defendant trial that has been interrupted multiple times on hardness — most recently because of allegations of drug and smuggling in court.

In a court filing obtained from abc newsProsecutors charged Young Thug, whose legal name is Jeffrey Williams, and co-defendant Kahlieff Adams were involved in a “hand-to-hand drug transaction” in the courtroom on January 18 that disrupted the ongoing jury selection process and led to a Delay in their trial as they face gang-related charges in a full RICO indictment in Fulton County, Georgia.

Lawyers for Young Thug said the rapper was “startled” when a co-defendant approached him in the courtroom and handed him an “item” that prosecutors say is a Percocet pill, a prescription pain reliever.

RELATED: Rapper Young Thug handed over Percocet in courtroom in drug deal caught on video: prosecutors

“Mr. Williams was not knowingly, willingly or intentionally involved in any alleged ‘drug deal,'” Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, told ABC News in a statement Monday.

In a motion filed Monday, Steel dismissed prosecutors’ claims that Young Thug’s actions caused a delay in the trial, arguing that this characterization by Fulton County prosecutors was an attempt to turn the public and the jury against to harm the rapper.

“The state’s motion was riddled with factual inaccuracies, misrepresentations and appears to have been submitted solely for the purpose of casting a bad light on defendant Jeffrey Williams in the eyes of the media and public, and with the clear possibility of poisoning the jury Pool,” argued Young Thug’s legal team in ABC News’ filing.

Prosecutors accused Young Thug in the Jan. 19 filing of trying to “conceal” the Percocet pill — an allegation the rapper’s attorneys called “blatant fabrication” and claimed Young Thug had Adams’ hand outstretched, thinking it was a handshake.

Courtroom security video of the incident, obtained by an ABC affiliate in Atlanta, WSB-TV, appears to show Adams getting out of his chair unattended and walking towards Williams and putting something in his hand. Moments later, Young Thug appears to be handing the object over to a security guard as he approaches the two suspects.

“Sheriff’s Office personnel immediately approached Defendant Williams and demanded that Defendant Williams turn over the contraband that Defendant Williams placed in his hand before putting his hand under the table,” prosecutors said in the filing January 19, available to ABC News.

Prosecutors also claimed that this incident led to the discovery of more contraband in the courtroom after Adams was searched.

Adams “resisted the search” and was found with “Percocet, marijuana, tobacco and other contraband wrapped in plastic and food seasoning to create the smell of the marijuana.” [disappear]according to ABC News court records.

Adams’ attorney, Teombre Calland, told ABC News in a statement Tuesday that the allegations against her client were “mere statements by the state to thwart the lengthy jury selection process.”

“Mr. Adams has adamantly maintained his innocence and looks forward to the conclusion of this trial,” she added.

RELATED: Young Thug Charges: Atlanta rapper accused of violating RICO law, street gang criminal activity

After the incident, according to prosecutors, Adams was taken to Grady Hospital in Atlanta after “apparently taking other contraband” to “conceal” them.

When asked about the circumstances surrounding Adams’ hospitalization, Calland claimed that Adams was “transported to Grady Hospital and subsequently released after being repeatedly tased by Fulton County officials.”

ABC News has reached out to the court and the Attorney’s Office for further comment.

According to WSB-TV, Adams faces multiple charges in connection with the incident and the Fulton County Attorney’s Office is investigating the matter.

Steel confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that Young Thug has not been charged in the incident.

Young Thug, a Grammy-winning rapper whose celebrity drew national attention to this case, was among 28 people named in the indictment who are alleged to be associated with Atlanta-based Young Slime Life (YSL), one Gang that prosecutors say was formed by Young Thug in 2012. He faces eight counts in total and has pleaded not guilty.

“Mr. Williams has not committed any crimes,” Steel told ABC News.

Copyright © 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures.

https://abc7.com/why-is-young-thug-in-court-trial-drug-smuggling-case/12735498/ Why is Young Thug on trial? Jury selection suspended over drug smuggling allegations

Laura Coffey

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