Young Thugs Lawyer Held in Contempt Ordered to 10 Weekends in Jail
source: ajc.com

Young Thugs Lawyer Held in Contempt Ordered to 10 Weekends in Jail

A Georgia judge has sentenced Brian Steel, the defense attorney for rapper Young Thug, to spend the next 10 weekends in jail after finding him in contempt of court. The decision came after Steel refused to disclose how he learned about a confidential meeting between the judge, prosecutors, and a key prosecution witness. This latest development adds another layer of complexity to a trial that has already been fraught with delays and controversies.

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is currently on trial in Atlanta facing charges that include violations of Georgia’s anti-racketeering and gang laws. The trial, which began with jury selection in January 2023, has been ongoing for nearly a year. The rapper, a Grammy winner, was indicted two years ago along with more than two dozen others, accused of conspiring to violate Georgia’s anti-racketeering law. He also faces charges related to gang activity, drugs, and firearms.

The incident that led to Steel’s contempt charge occurred on Monday when he confronted Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Ural Glanville about a meeting that took place in the judge’s chambers. The meeting involved the judge, a court reporter, prosecutors, a key state witness, and the witness’s attorney. Steel claimed he had been informed about the meeting and made several statements regarding its content, which the judge found troubling.

Judge Glanville expressed serious concern about how Steel obtained this information, which was not meant to be disclosed. Despite being asked multiple times to reveal his source, Steel refused, leading to the contempt charge. As a result, Glanville ordered Steel to serve 20 days in the Fulton County Jail, spread over the next 10 weekends. Steel is required to report to jail at 7 p.m. on Fridays and will be released at 7 p.m. on Sundays, starting this Friday and continuing through August 18.

Steel requested to serve his time in the Cobb County Jail, where Young Thug is being held, to facilitate working on the rapper’s defense. Judge Glanville agreed to discuss this arrangement with the sheriff. Steel has since filed a notice of appeal against the contempt order and a motion asking the judge to reconsider or rescind the order, or to grant him bond while the appeal is pending.

The meeting in question involved Kenneth Copeland, a witness who had been granted immunity but was held in contempt after asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege. Copeland had initially refused to testify but returned to the stand on Monday after spending the weekend in jail. Steel argued that the information he disclosed in court was not confidential by any court order and that the contempt finding was illegal and inconsistent.

The trial has seen numerous delays and complications, including issues with jurors and the sheer number of witnesses. The prosecution has called dozens of witnesses since opening statements were made in November. The trial is expected to continue well into next year, with more than 200 witnesses yet to testify.

Young Thug has been a prominent figure in the music industry, serving as the CEO of his record label, Young Stoner Life (YSL). However, prosecutors allege that YSL also stands for Young Slime Life, a violent street gang affiliated with the national Bloods gang. They claim that the gang, founded by Young Thug and two others in 2012, is responsible for various violent crimes, including murders, shootings, and carjackings.

The trial has been a rollercoaster of legal maneuvers and dramatic courtroom moments. Steel’s contempt charge is just the latest twist in a case that has already seen its fair share of controversy. The defense attorney’s refusal to disclose his source has not only landed him in jail but also raised questions about the integrity of the trial proceedings.

As the trial continues, the focus remains on the charges against Young Thug and his co-defendants. The outcome of this high-profile case could have significant implications for all involved, including the legal teams representing both sides. For now, the courtroom drama shows no signs of abating, with each new development adding to the complexity of an already intricate legal battle.