The judge presiding over the Atlanta trial of rapper Young Thug, Judge Ural Glanville, denied a motion on Tuesday to recuse himself from the case. The motion was filed by Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, on Monday, seeking the judge’s removal and a mistrial due to alleged misconduct during a private meeting related to Kenneth Copeland’s testimony.

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After the motion was denied, Steel stated he plans to question Copeland about the meeting during cross-examination. Judge Glanville indicated that the June 25 hearing regarding the meeting would likely be rescheduled. Steel remains free while appealing his contempt of court charge and continues to act as counsel in the courtroom.

Young Thug, born Jeffery Williams, was arrested on May 9, 2022, along with 27 others in Buckhead as part of a 56-count indictment. The jury selection process for the trial has been the longest in Georgia’s history, with witness testimony expected to set new state records, surpassing those set by the 2014-15 Atlanta Public Schools teacher scandal trial.


The trial, which began on November 27, 2023, has faced numerous disruptions, including arrests and charges. Defense attorneys have expressed concerns that the trial could extend for years due to the extensive list of witnesses the prosecution intends to call.

Prosecutors aim to prove that YSL, or Young Slime Life, is a criminal street gang involved in various offenses, while defense attorneys contend that YSL is merely the name of a record label, Young Stoner Life. Young Thug faces eight criminal counts under Georgia’s RICO law, including charges for possession of marijuana, codeine, cocaine, a firearm, and a machine gun.

Attorneys for Williams argue that he is not the leader of a gang as prosecutors claim. So far, 18 jurors have been selected, with six as alternates. Two jurors have been excused: one for a medical emergency and the other due to relocating out of Fulton County.