FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The final day of hearings before the YSL gang trial featuring rap superstar Young Thug and nearly two dozen co-defendants saw another defendant taking a plea deal.
Several defendants who took plea deals are heading home as the sweeping YSL RICO indictment heads to trial next week.
Rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, appeared in a Fulton County courtroom once again on Thursday.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden has been in the courtroom with Williams after several of his co-defendants have chosen to take plea deals rather than face trial alongside him.
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The final day of hearings before jury selection begins on January 4 did not go as planned for Williams’ defense team.
Defense attorneys intended to call an expert witness to testify about hip hop lyrics and the meaning behind them. Williams’ defense has claimed that their client’s music is an expression of art and shot not be used against him during trial.
After another of Williams’ co-defendants became ill, the judge postponed the testimony.
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When everyone returned to the courtroom after a brief recess, the hearing focused on two potential deals, including one with Tenquarius Mender, which prosecutors say would allow him to go home.
“One of the things the plea does is you know what you’re getting. It caps your exposure. So what the state is telling you today is if you take the plea today, this is what you’re going to get and this is what I’ll be sentencing you to, and you’re done,” Judge Ural Glanville explained to Mender.
Trontavious Stephens became the eighth defendant to take a plea deal after entering a negotiated plea on Thursday.
Originally, the YSL indictment included 28 co-defendants. Six of them will be tried separately and eight have pleaded guilty, leaving 14 to stand trial next month.
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