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Young Thug's lawyer: If judge goes, the prosecution should too

Jozsef Papp and Shaddi Abusaid, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA — The lawyer representing chart-topping Atlanta rapper Young Thug says it’s not just the judge who should be removed from his client’s sprawling gang and racketeering case, but also the prosecutors.

In a court filing late Monday, defense attorney Brian Steel accused Chief Judge Ural Glanville, once again, of being in cahoots with the Fulton County prosecutors. Steel wrote in his motion that he “derives no happiness” from calling for the prosecution and judge’s removal.

“However, let justice be done though the heavens fall,” Steel said. “Actually, the heavens will not fall by unmasking biased and unethical members of the Bar.”

Calls for Glanville’s removal began after he held a secret June 10 meeting in his chambers with prosecutors and Kenneth Copeland, a key witness in the state’s case. A transcript of the meeting was released last week.

According to that transcript, prosecutors told Copeland that if he refused to testify, he could be jailed until defendants all have their cases adjudicated, a process that could take years. The trial is the longest in Georgia history; jury selection began in January 2023.

Outraged defense attorneys said they were never informed of the meeting, and accused Glanville of colluding with prosecutors to coerce the witness. When confronted about the secret meeting, Glanville held Steel in contempt for refusing to disclose how he learned of it.

Steel said if Glanville is removed, Chief Deputy DA Adriane Love and ADA Simone Hylton should be as well. He also said the Fulton County DA’s Office should be investigated for any improper conduct outside of the actions of Love and Hylton.

“The criminal justice system in Fulton County, in the State of Georgia and in America has been attacked by the conduct of these three actors,” Steel wrote.

The trial is currently on hold until Fulton County Judge Rachel Krause determines whether Glanville should remain on the case. In his motion, Steel argued that Krause shouldn’t decide Glanville’s fate since he contributed to her recent reelection campaign.


Steel said Glanville gave $2,000 to Krause’s campaign in April. Defense attorney Doug Weinstein also filed a motion seeking to disqualify all Fulton judges from ruling on Glanville’s recusal, asking that the case to be transferred to another judicial circuit.

Krause had originally ordered the DA’s office to file a written response to the motions to recuse Glanville by Monday but later extended the deadline to Wednesday after Love requested a 48-hour extension due to a family emergency.

In his motion, Steel argued that a hearing is not needed to remove Glanville from the case, but if one is scheduled, he intends to call Glanville, Love and Hylton as witnesses and “fully unmask” what he said was misconduct against his client.

“Judge Glanville, lawyer Love and lawyer Hylton have teamed up to conduct their illegal and unethical conduct outside of the view of Mr. Williams and his counsel, the public and outside of the lens of the cameras,” Steel wrote. “These ‘public officials’ shall never be trusted by Mr. Williams or undersigned counsel.”

As part of the motion, Steel, along with attorney Keith Adams, included an updated joint affidavit in which they go through the meeting transcript and continuously accuse Glanville of joining the prosecution’s team.

“This ex parte meeting was orchestrated by lawyer Love, lawyer Hylton and Judge Glanville to convince Mr. Copeland to testify against Mr. Williams,” Steel and Adams wrote. “This influencing a witness meeting eviscerated any appearance of regularity of the tribunal and demonstrates, at the very least, that Judge Glanville is biased for the prosecution.”

Steel also argued that Young Thug, who has been in jail since May 2022, should be released from custody and cleared of all charges, based on the alleged prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

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