The life of a cooperating witness in the YSL Rico case is at risk.
As reported on WSBTV, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis discovered someone leaked a court document about the witness’s statement online. According to the report, the witness and their children are “in jeopardy” after “gang sympathizers” threaten them.
XXL points out the leak happened when the defense and the prosecution shared evidence, also known as a discovery, to prepare for the January 2023 trial. Authorities are investigating who is responsible.
On Monday, August 15, WSBTV interviewed Willis and Young Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel. Willis said, “YSL enthusiasts and/or actual gang members are threatening someone they believe is cooperating with the State. And not only that person, but their very small children.” Willis said he’s making sure this doesn’t happen in the future.
“We are going to have to do things to make sure that the witnesses are safe. We need people to understand that they can cooperate, they can do the right thing, and the State will be here to protect them,” Willis said.
Steel also expressed concern over the leak and didn’t want it to happen. He told the outlet, “This is putting people at risk, and it’s poisoning the jury pool. Please stop immediately. [Whoever] is placing items of discovery online is not doing anybody a favor. It is totally inappropriate to try to try this case in social media. This will be tried fairly and justly in Fulton County Superior Court.”
In July, NY Times reported witnesses received threats, and defense lawyers denied any witness intimidation. Prosecutors said the witnesses “fear not only for their own lives, but for their families’ lives should they testify.”
In May, Young Thug, Gunna, and 26 YSL members were indicted on RICO charges and are accused of operating a violent street gang. Young Thug is believed to be the ring leader.
Both rappers were denied bond multiple times and remind behind bars and last week, Young Thug was hit with a new 95-page indictment. Around the time of his RICO arrest, Atlanta police raided his home and found several firearms, including a machine gun, which led to the new charges. Steel, maintains that his client is innocent and looks forward to fighting the charges in court. The trial date is set for January 9, 2023.