Fulton DA Fani Willis, defense attorney Brian Steel facing off in Young Thug trial

Meet the DA who wants Jeffery Williams behind bars, and the lawyer determined to keep him out
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 4:27 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Young Thug trial in Fulton County features a local district attorney who has already gained national headlines in her quest to prosecute a former U.S. president and a high-profile defense attorney determined to keep the rapper out of jail.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is leading the case against Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams. The rapper is charged with eight counts of violating the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act through his alleged involvement in the Young Slime Life (YSL) collective.

Williams is also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; possession of codeine with intent to distribute; possession of cocaine; possession of a firearm; and possession of a machine gun.

Jury selection for rapper Young Thug begins today

Willis is the DA for Georgia’s largest county home to the cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs and South Fulton. Willis is Fulton’s first female DA.

Young Thug’s trial comes at the same time Willis continues probing alleged election misconduct by former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election vote count. Trump has slammed Willis for what he is calling a “strictly political witch hunt” as she pursues her investigation into alleged election interfering.

Last year, Willis opened a criminal investigation “into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.” A special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May at her request. In court filings last month, she alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

Willis’ Fulton County website said the DA has led more than 100 jury trials and has prosecuted hundreds of murder cases.

Rapper Young Thug appears in court

On the courtroom’s other side is Brian Steel of the Steel Law Firm. Steel has been a defense attorney since 1991. His firm called Steel “Georgia’s most successful criminal appellate attorney, with over 200 published opinions approximately 40 reversals to his credit.”

In 2018, Steel was part of a team of attorneys that successfully defended a former housekeeper employed by Joe Rogers, Jr., the former chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Waffle House. Rogers was suing Mye Brindle and two others for allegedly making a sex tape involving himself and Brindle without his consent.

In the civil suit, Rogers said Brindle and her attorneys violated Georgia’s eavesdropping laws. After six years and multiple appeals, the lawsuit was dismissed.

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