YSL defendant Christian Eppinger severed from case after attorney’s laptop seized
A hearing has been set for June 21, and attorney Eric Johnson said he could be charged as co-conspirator.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Christian Eppinger, one of the defendants in Young Thug’s massive organized crime trial, has been severed from the case after deputies seized his attorney’s laptop last week.
Eppinger’s attorney, Eric Johnson, said the state believes his client used the laptop to communicate with Akeiba Koren Stanley, a Fulton deputy who was arrested last week on charges she had an “inappropriate relationship” with Eppinger. Stanley is charged with hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal, violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit a felony and reckless conduct.
Johnson told Atlanta News First that a hearing has been set for June 21, adding he could be charged as a co-conspirator in the incident. As of Thursday, Johnson said he has not been removed as Eppinger’s legal counsel but that remains a possibility.
Stanley allegedly used Instagram and an illegal cellphone to communicate with Eppinger and conspired with his relatives to bring him contraband. She had been a deputy since October 2022.
Eppinger’s severance from the case brings the total number of defendants to eight. Besides Williams, the remaining defendants are Derontae Bebee, aka “Bee” or “B;” Cordarius Dorsey, aka “Polo” or “Juicy;” Marquavius Huey, aka “Qua;” Deamonte Kendrick, aka “Yak Gotti;” Quamarvious Nichols, aka “Qua;” Rodalius Ryan, aka “Lil Rod;” and Shannon Stillwell, aka “Shannon Jackson” or “SB.”
The communications are alleged to have taken place during jury selection, which began in January and continues, with not a single juror having been chosen so far.
This latest incident is just one of the developments in Young Thug’s trial that has taken the case into several bizarre dimensions. Jury selection has already lasted longer than any other in Georgia history, and has been repeatedly plagued by arrests, charges and disruptions.
Several of the court-appointed defense attorneys in the trial recently raised concerns about their low wages and extremely high workloads. As a result of the pressure and the trial’s high international profile, the Georgia Public Defender Council raised the attorneys’ $15,000 flat rate to a monthly increase capped $55,000. This came after one of those attorneys, Angela D’Williams, sent a subpoena to the head of the agency in order to discuss the pay.
Williams is facing eight criminal counts under a federal law that was originally enacted to fight organized crime.
The federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law was passed and signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it allows prosecutors to link apparently unrelated crimes with a common objective into a prosecutable pattern of racketeering.
RICO also provides for more severe penalties and permits a defendant to be convicted and separately punished for the underlying crimes that constitute a racketeering pattern.
Georgia is one of 33 states that has its own RICO law, but in the Peach State, the alleged criminal enterprises do not have to have existed as long as the federal law.
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