On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the high-profile racketeering trial of Atlanta rapper Young Thug had come to a halt after 18 months of proceedings. Judge Ural Glanville of Fulton County Superior Court suspended the trial until another judge could rule on defense motions calling for his recusal from the case.

The motions stemmed from a private meeting Glanville held in June with prosecutors and key witness Kenneth Copeland without informing the defense attorneys. At the meeting, Glanville and prosecutors allegedly coerced Copeland into testifying by threatening him with indefinite jail time if he refused. The defense argued they had a right to be present for any discussions about witness testimony.

Judge Glanville maintained the meeting only involved clarifying the terms of Copeland’s immunity agreement in exchange for his testimony. However, several law experts said only scheduling, administrative issues or emergencies not related to trial matters were justified for private meetings. When lead defense attorney Brian Steel later learned of the meeting and asked Glanville about it, the judge held Steel in contempt and sentenced him to 20 days in jail for refusing to disclose his source.

With the trial now paused, Glanville’s recusal motions were assigned to Judge Rachel Krause. She ordered prosecutors to respond in writing by July 8th, noting time was critical with the jury trial on hold. However, defense attorney Doug Weinstein immediately filed for all Fulton County judges to recuse themselves from ruling on Glanville’s fitness, arguing an outside jurist was needed to avoid any apparent bias.

Legal experts debated the consequences of Glanville’s potential recusal. Some argued prosecutors may have to start the entire trial process over if a mistrial is granted, given the unprecedented 18-month duration already. Others said failure to properly address recusal risks undermining faith in the judicial system. The upcoming recusal decision could decide whether Young Thug’s high-profile racketeering case moves forward or faces major delays.

 

 

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution