Killer Mike, high profile music execs among list of potential witnesses in Young Thug, YSL trial

ATLANTA — Prominent music executives, a sitting city councilman and the fiancé of hip hop superstar Young Thug could all be called to testify in the trial for a sweeping gang indictment targeting alleged members of the Young Slime Life gang.

Atlanta rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, is one of 14 defendants scheduled to face RICO conspiracy charges on January 9.

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Originally, the indictment charged 28 defendants, but eight have since taken plea deals and six others will be tried separately because they still don’t have an attorney or they remain fugitives.

Prosecutors allege that Williams was one of the founders of YSL, or Young Slime Life, an alleged criminal street gang accused of committing violent crimes, including murder and armed robbery from 2013-2022.

Defense attorneys argue that the allegations are false, claiming YSL is a clothing company and record label, also known as Young Stoner Life.


On Tuesday, Channel 2′s Michael Seiden obtained a list of 28 potential witnesses who could offer testimony during the high-profile trial, which is expected to last six to nine months.

Here are some of the most high-profile names on the list:

  1. Michael Render, a.k.a. Atlanta rapper Killer Mike
  2. Kevin Liles, co-founder of Young Stoner Life records and current 300 ENT COE
  3. Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music
  4. Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Lewis
  5. Corey Jackson, a.k.a. rapper Lil C-Note, and protégé of Young Thug
  6. Jerrika Karlae, Williams’ fiancé since 2015
  7. Jeffrey Williams, Young Thug’s father
  8. Attorney Ashleigh Merchant, criminal defense attorney hired by Ross Harris, accused in the hot car death of his son, Cooper; and Ryan Duke, one of the men accused in south Georgia beauty queen Tara Grinstead’s murder.

Several professors who are experts in hip hop are also on the proposed list of witnesses, as well as a number of other high-profile Atlanta-area record executives and lawyers.

The defense filing also states that any of the co-defendants named in the original indictment could also be called on to testify during trial.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday before Judge Ural Glanville.

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