ATLANTA — An attorney for defendants in the trial involving alleged members of the Young Slime Life gang was arrested Thursday morning.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was at the Fulton County courthouse when Anastasios Manettas was led out in handcuffs moments before the day’s proceedings started. Manettas represents Miles Farley, whose jail phone calls have been a piece of evidence in the trial.
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Seiden spoke with Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat, who confirmed Manettas tried to bring prescription pills into the courthouse at a security checkpoint. The sheriff said the attorney also threw a cell phone at one of his captains.
Manetta’s attorney, Brian Tevis, said Manettas is expected to be booked into jail on multiple charges but did not say what those charges were.
Since the trial began in January, there have been some incidents involving defendants smuggling drugs and other contraband into the courtroom, so the sheriff’s office decided to implement an extra security checkpoint up on the first floor of the courthouse.
A witness told Seiden that Manettas didn’t throw his cell phone at an officer on purpose.
“I asked him if he wanted to give me his phone, and he tries to toss it at me, but the officer that has him in handcuffs, yanks him so as he tosses the phone, instead of going my way, it goes to the officer standing to my right and taps her on the shoulder,” attorney Suri Chadha Jimenez said. “It was an accident.”
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According to Tevis, a simple battery charge against Manettas has been dropped after multiple people said that his throwing the phone was an accident.
Tevis issued a statement Thursday night, saying he was outraged by Manettas’ arrest and that the law about prescription medications doesn’t apply to keeping your own prescriptions in a different container.
“This whole thing is unbelievable,” Tevis wrote. “Attorney Manettas’ arrest was an illegal arrest, and I look forward to our day in court if it even gets that far.”
Jimenez said he was stunned to find new security outside the courtroom.
“If they found what they found, they could have just walked to the back,” Jimenez said. “There’s no reason for this. He’s an attorney. He’s not a flight risk and he wasn’t fighting them. But they wanted to make a spectacle out of it and teach us a lesson.”
After the arrest, Judge Ural Glanville took to the bench and announced Farley will now be tried separately since he no longer has an attorney.
Manettas’ arrest is the latest disruption after chaos erupted in the courtroom on Wednesday.
Yesterday’s proceedings were interrupted when one of the defendants, Rodalius Ryan, was led out of the courtroom and started screaming from a holding cell. The courtroom was evacuated after two other defendants stood up and started yelling.
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Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat confirmed to Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne that a sizable amount of marijuana was discovered hidden on Ryan. The sheriff said deputies had removed Ryan from court because they suspected Ryan had pot on him in court, and he screamed because he did not want to be searched.
The trial against YSL defendants has been ongoing for months. Officials charged 28 people, including Atlanta rapper Young Thug, in a sweeping gang indictment alleging that members of YSL “terrorized” the city of Atlanta for years committing violent crimes.
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