FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — After 600 potential jurors appeared in a Fulton County courtroom last week ahead of the YSL RICO case, some of them are starting to be dismissed.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden has been following all of the courtroom drama since the start of the trial.
Rap superstar Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is standing trial alongside 13 co-defendants named in a sweeping gang indictment. Eight others pleaded guilty while six more will face a separate trial.
Chief Judge Ural Glanville told jurors that the trial is expected to last six to nine months.
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Over the last week, potential jurors answered questionnaires and listened to the indictment being read.
On Monday, prosecutors and defense attorneys questioned 25 potential jurors about their hardships and the impact they would have on their lives.
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Some of those jurors included:
- #1 - a husband and father of two whose wife is recovering from surgery. The judge denied his hardship because his wife is expected to recover before testimony begins. He remains in the juror pool.
- #2 - an emergency room doctor and mother of a 10-month-old baby. She was excused without any objections.
- #6 - a Georgia Tech graduate who appeared to be fed up with living in the United States. He told the judge he plans to move to France over the summer. He was eventually excused.
- #24 - a former music executive who now works as a filmmaker. He said serving on the jury could cost him his livelihood. He was eventually excused.
- #29 - a merchandiser who works with several music venues across metro Atlanta. He told the judge that he has sold merchandise at numerous Young Thug concerts, preventing him from being a fair and impartial member of the jury. After arguments from both sides, he was dismissed.
“He’s very angry,” explained Judge Ural Glanville. “He’s a concert promoter, self-employed contractor and if he doesn’t work, then he doesn’t eat. He stands to lose $48,000.”
One of the jurors broke down in the courtroom, shedding tears as she explained how serving on this jury would create a financial hardship that would greatly impact her and her husband.
Another potential juror explained how she booked and paid for a yoga retreat in India nearly a year before she was summoned to jury duty.
Seiden says juror number 64 did not show up to court on Monday morning. Judge Glanville ordered deputies to find that juror and bring him or her to him by the end of the day.
Jury selection will resume Tuesday morning.
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