Fulton County

Attorneys planning to quit YSL trial if they’re not paid more

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Several attorneys in the high-profile case of alleged criminal street gang Young Slime Life and rapper Young Thug say if they’re not paid more, they may quit the trial.

Jury selection began in January and a jury has still not been seated.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden spoke to four court-appointed defense attorneys who are demanding that the state-funded group that’s paying them to represent their clients talk to legislators to get them more money.

They say the small amount they have been paid is affecting their livelihoods because they do not have time to work on other cases.

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“It’s bigger than we just want money,” defense attorney Justin Hill said.

“A case of this length not only affects the indigent clients but also our paying clients,” defense attorney Eric Johnson said.

“I didn’t know that I would be there every single day. I’m not able to take on any other case. I’m not able to go to other court hearings. I’m not able to go to anything else,” defense attorney Angela D’Williams told Seiden.

The attorneys say they are not being paid enough to properly represent their clients who are all co-defendants in the YSL trial.

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“We’re doing it as conflict attorneys. That’s the equivalent to a public defender. Public defenders are public servants. Nobody does this to get rich. However, nobody knew what they signed up for,” defense attorney Suri Chadha Jimenez said.

The Georgia Public Defender Council is paying each attorney $15,000 to represent their clients at trial, regardless of how long it takes.

These attorneys say they were told the trial could last anywhere from nine to 12 months, but jury selection has taken months longer than anticipated.

D’Williams filed a motion earlier this week to withdraw from the case. She has also sent a letter to GPDC requesting a meeting with the director to talk about getting more money.

A spokesperson for the GPDC said in a statement, in part, “The agency is open to meeting with the attorneys, though their demand for a payment of $33,260.00 per attorney and at least $15,000 per attorney per month going forward present considerable challenges.”

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