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Atlanta DA Claims Young Thug and YSL Group Triggered Over 50 Murders, But Lawyer Says Rapper ‘Has Committed No Violation of the Law Whatsoever’ 

In a recent update, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis says Atlanta-based rapper Young Thug and several of his YSL associates triggered more than 50 murders and multiple instances of gun violence across Atlanta. 

As previously reported, Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, and fellow rapper Gunna, born Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, were two hip-hop figures named in a 56-count indictment involving RICO charges. Prosecutors said the accused are members of the “criminal street gang” Young Slime Life Gang, which has the same YSL initials as Thug’s record label Young Stoner Life.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 17: Rapper Young Thug performs at halftime during the Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks game at State Farm Arena on November 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Willis spoke with local news outlet WSB-TV on Friday, May 13, 2022, about the 88-page indictment accusing the group of three murders and dozens of violent crimes dating back to 2013. One killing in particular points to that of Donovan Thomas. The “Bad Bad Bad” rapper is accused of renting the 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan from Hertz that was used in Thomas’ murder.

“[Thomas’ murder is] extremely significant,” Willis said. “It occurred back in 2015. And what myself and any law enforcement member can tell you as a result of that the back-and-forth gun violence and murders that have occurred have probably been in excess of 50 since 2015—triggered by that in the back-and-forth between that [YSL] gang and other gangs.” Still, the 30-year-old is not being accused of actually firing the fatal shot in any case. 

Thug was arrested earlier this month following a raid on his Buckhead home in Atlanta. He was charged with seven additional felonies, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine gun, dangerous weapon, or silencer, to name a few.

Gunna turned himself in one day following the raid at his frequent collaborator’s home. Both artists are currently being denied bond. 

Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel, maintains his client’s innocence, telling XXL in a statement that “Mr. Williams has committed no violation of law whatsoever.” He added, “We will fight this case ethically, legally, and zealously. Mr. Williams will be cleared.”

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