ATLANTA — A man named as a co-founder of the Young Slime Life gang said he will turn himself in on RICO conspiracy charges Thursday night.
Channel 2′s Mark Winne spoke exclusively to Walter Murphy, who is charged along with more than two dozen others in a sprawling indictment against the gang. The indictment alleges that Murphy co-founded the gang alongside Atlanta rapper Young Thug and a third person.
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Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, was arrested last month on charges that he violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. He was one of 28 people facing gang charges including rapper Gunna and Murphy, who said he no longer has contact with members of YSL.
Still, Murphy was quick to defend the group, which he says isn’t a gang.
“I would rather say it’s more like a record label or a family,” Murphy said. “Once upon a time I was actually a road manager on that label.”
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Murphy, who has a YSL tattoo on his forehead, said it is his past affiliation with the gang that has landed him on the 86-page indictment. Murphy is charged with one count of RICO conspiracy, though the indictment accuses him of being involved in an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and an attempted murder involving four different victims between 2012 and 2015.
Murphy’s attorney, Jacoby Hudson, said he was charged in those incidents years ago and he pled guilty in what’s known as an Alford Plea to reduce the charges.
“I spent seven years in prison,” Murphy said. “While I was in prison, you know, I stayed out of they way and I just got my GED, completed all my classes, completed the transitional center. I transitioned back into... the world. I got me a job at the transitional center.”
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Hudson said that in 2015, a prosecutor tried to get Murphy to get his client to cooperate against alleged YSL members, but he wasn’t interested.
“I did my time like a man,” Murphy said.
Murphy has been out on parole since earlier this year. Hudson said he’s paid his debt to society and he’s going to plead Murphy’s case to District Attorney Fani Willis, who has mentored Hudson since he was a young prosecutor.
Murphy said he’s facing a tough challenge again, but he’ll get through it.
“The same way I got through everything else,” Murphy said. “With God and my faith.”
Murphy wants young people to know that no matter what you may have done in the past, you can overcome it.
“No matter what you did, whatever you think you’re a part of, you’re bigger than that,” Murphy said. “And you can overcome it.”
Willis’s office said the indictment does charge some suspects with individual acts they’ve had to answer to before, but part of the purpose is to hold people responsible collectively for an alleged criminal organization that has wreaked havoc on the streets of Atlanta.
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