ATLANTA — Lawyers for Young Thug have filed an emergency motion for a bond hearing or “more humane/non-torturous in-custody housing,” saying that he has been wrongfully charged.
The motion was filed Friday in the Superior Court of Fulton County.
The rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, was arrested Monday at a home in Buckhead on a sweeping gang indictment that also named 27 other people. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the people named in the indictment are members of the Young Slime Life gang, which has engaged in criminal activity in the city since 2012.
The 88-page indictment gives a detailed account of various crimes the alleged members of YSL are accused of, and documents social media posts and rap lyrics that reference YSL.
Williams is charged with violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act and participating in a criminal street gang.
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The rapper was initially booked into the Fulton County jail but moved to Cobb County for his safety.
In the new motion, lawyers called the conditions Williams is being housed in “inhumane,” saying he’s being held in solitary confinement in a windowless cement room “as if he is a forgotten person alone in the world.”
“Mr. Williams is held in a cement small area. There’s a light on all the time. He gets inedible food Williams’ attorney Brian Steel told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne. “He has no contact with any human being except for his counsel.”
Lawyers said the lights are kept on 24 hours a day, preventing the rapper from sleeping and that he has no access to any type of media. They said he is not being given the opportunity to exercise, shower or have any human interaction other than his counsel.
The Cobb County Sheriff said he’s being held in administrative solitary confinement for his own safety, and the lights stay on so officers can check in and make sure that he is OK.
“He will be vindicated but this is wrong,” Steel said. “He is being treated the exact same as the person next door to him who has been arrested tried and convicted for murder and sentenced to death.”
Williams filed a motion for bond on Tuesday but has yet to receive a date.
“The failure to schedule a bond hearing for this innocent man, coupled with the inhumane and unconstitutional treatment of Mr. Williams, mandates that this Honorable Court grant bond until a hearing can be held,” lawyers wrote, asking that alternatively, “Williams is not held in isolation and that he be given access to televisions, windows, showers and other surroundings that pretrial detainees typically receive.”
Steel said his client needs to be held in better conditions.
In the new motion, lawyers said Young Thug was simply exercising his freedom of speech and doing his job, but that “the state seeks to insinuate criminal conduct from quotations from song lyrics and social media posts.”
They claim that Williams’ arrest was a violation of his first and fourteenth amendment rights, which protect freedom of speech and expression.
The motion also disputes the district attorney’s claims that Williams once rented a car that was later used in a murder.
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“There is no allegation by the Grand Jury that Mr. Williams had knowledge of this crime, had knowledge that this rented vehicle would be used in any supposed crime or that Mr. Williams was a party to this supposed crime,” lawyers said.
Lawyers argue that Williams should be given the opportunity to post bond because he is not a convicted felon, a flight risk, a danger to the community, at risk to commit a felony while out on bond or at risk to bribe anyone before the trial.
The Bible, the Torah, the Quran, the Vedas and all like texts of humanity as well as any person with a conscious would understand that housing a human being (in this case, Mr. Williams) under these conditions in America, in an original Colony, when he has no prior felony record, denies any allegation of wrongdoing, has never been anything but cooperative, lawful and peaceful with the authorities, and is presumed to be innocent, is wrong, unlawful and unconscionable. Mr. Williams is being unlawfully and terribly mistreated by the authorities.
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