The Atlanta rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, was in court for a bond hearing on Thursday (June 2) where a judge decided not to release him from jail following his arrest last month in a 56-count indictment.
Thug, who is accused of being the leader of the alleged YSL gang, was charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity.
Fulton County Superior Court judge Ural D. Glanville said his decision was based on statements from prosecutors claiming Thug is a danger to the community and could intimidate other witnesses, citing a group chat from 2015 that threatened retaliation if anybody “tells the God honest truth” in court.
“There have been significant proffers about Mr. Williams being a danger to the community,” said the judge. “In particular, the state’s proffer that they have taken proffers from other gang members and people who are in this particular indictment and that are not in this indictment, that he is the leader of the gang, he is dangerous, and if he crosses them, he will kill them or their families.”
“The two things that the court has significant concerns about is him being a danger to the community and flight,” he continued. “For those reasons in the aggregate, I’m going to deny bond at this time.”
Thug appeared in court via video feed and spoke once during the hearing, asking if he could use the restroom. “I’ve been holding it for a long time,” he told the judge, who agreed to take a five-minute recess.
During Thursday’s hearing, Kevin Liles also took the stand to speak in support of his longtime friend and business partner. The veteran music executive and Thug started Young Stoner Life Records together.
“I’ve been a fan for 12 years,” Liles said when asked how long he has known Thug. “I’ve gotten to know him personally over the last 10 years.”
He grew emotional while vouching for Thug’s character and reputation. “I’m kind of emotional because of how good this guy is,” said Liles. “I’ve been in this music thing called hip-hop for 38 years and for the life of me, I don’t understand why I have to testify of the good that hip-hop has done around the world.”
Machine Gun Kelly was among those who also shared messages in support of Thug at the bond hearing. Thug will remain in jail until his trial begins in January 2023.
Last month, a judge denied bond for Gunna. The YSL rappers are among 28 alleged gang members named in the Fulton County district attorney’s indictment, which includes charges ranging from drug and gun possession to murder.