Weeks after jury selection began in the trial of rapper Young Thug, who faces gang-related charges in a RICO indictment, the judge is still examining the grand jury pool for hardship in a months-long 14-defendant trial that has been interrupted several times. times – most recently on drug and contraband charges in court.
In a lawsuit obtained by TSTIME News, prosecutors accused Young Thug, whose legal name is Jeffrey Williams, and co-defendant Kahlieff Adams of engaging in a “hand-to-hand drug transaction” in court on Jan. 18 that perverted the course of justice. pending jury selection process and led to a delay in their trial as they face gang-related charges in a sweeping RICO indictment in Fulton County, Georgia.
Attorneys for Young Thug said the rapper was “startled” when a co-defendant walked up to him in court and handed him an “object” that prosecutors claim was a Percocet pill, a prescription pain reliever.
“Mr. Williams was not knowingly or intentionally involved in any alleged ‘drug deal,'” Brian Steel, Young Thug’s attorney, said in a statement to TSTIME News Monday.
In a motion filed Monday, Steel reversed the prosecution’s claim that Young Thug’s actions delayed the trial and argued that this characterization by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is an attempt to mislead the public and the jury. against the rapper. .
The state’s motion was riddled with factual inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and was filed, it appears, solely for the purpose of discrediting Defendant Jeffrey Williams in the eyes of the media and the public, and with the clear possibility to poison the jury pool,” the Young Thug legal team argued in the TSTIME News motion.
Prosecutors charged Young Thug in the motion filed Jan. 19 with attempting to “hide” the Percocet pill — a claim the rapper’s lawyers called a “blatant fabrication,” alleging that Young Thug reached out to Adams for what he thought a handshake.
Courtroom security video of the incident, which was obtained by TSTIME Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV, appears to show Adams rising from his chair unattended and walking over to Williams and placing something in his hand. Moments later, Young Thug appears to hand the object to a guard as he walks towards both defendants.
“The Sheriff’s Office staff immediately approached Defendant Williams and demanded that Defendant Williams relinquish the contraband that Defendant Williams placed in his hand before putting his hand under the table,” the prosecutors said in the Jan. 19 motion. which was obtained by TSTIME News.
Prosecutors also alleged that this incident led to the discovery of more contraband in the courtroom after Adams was searched.
Adams “resisted search” and was found with “Percocet, marijuana, tobacco and other contraband wrapped in plastic and food spices to make the smell of the marijuana” [disappear]according to court documents obtained by TSTIME News.
Adams’ attorney, Teombre Calland, told TSTIME News in a statement Tuesday that the allegations against her client “are merely statements made by the state in an effort to thwart the duration of the jury selection process.”
“Mr. Adams adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to the conclusion of this process,” she added.
After the incident, Adams was transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta after he “appeared to have taken other contraband” in an attempt to “hide them,” prosecutors said.
When asked about the circumstances surrounding Adams’ hospitalization, Calland claimed that Adams was “transported to Grady Hospital and then released after being repeatedly groped by Fulton County officers.”
TSTIME News has contacted the court and the district attorney’s office for further comment.
Adams is facing several charges related to the incident, according to WSB-TV, and the Fulton County DA’s office is investigating the matter.
Steel confirmed to TSTIME News on Tuesday that Young Thug has not been charged in the incident.
Young Thug, a Grammy-winning rapper whose celebrity has brought national attention to the case, was one of 28 individuals named in the indictment allegedly associated with Atlanta-based Young Slime Life (YSL), a gang which prosecutors say was founded by Young Thug in 2012. He is charged with a total of eight counts and has pleaded not guilty.
“Mr. Williams has not committed any crime,” Steel told TSTIME News.