Why Was Young Thug's Lawyer Arrested?

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Brian Steel, attorney for rapper Young Thug, arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse on November 27, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Opening statements are set to begin in the case against 31 year old US rapper Young Thug and 28 others, who are facing a racketeering indictment accusing the defendants of a number of offenses that support an overarching conspiracy charge, including murder, assault, carjacking, drug dealing, and theft. (Photo by Christian Monterrosa / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA/AFP via Getty Images)
Brian Steele faces a 20-day jail sentences, to be served over the course of 10 weekends, after a judge held him in contempt.

The judge presiding over Young Thug’s lengthy racketeering trial held the musician’s lawyer in contempt on Monday, as reported by AJC. This came after being confronted about a conversation reportedly held between himself, prosecutors, and one of the state’s star witnesses. After refusing to tell Judge Ural Glanville how he learned of the meeting, Brian Steel was escorted out of the courtroom. Steel claimed the meeting occurred in the judge’s chambers before court began. Glanville sentenced him to spend the next 10 weekends at the Fulton County Jail, totaling 20 days. Moreover, Steel was ordered to report to the troubled Rice Street facility by 7 p.m. Friday but requested to spend the weekends with his client at the Cobb County Jail to work on their case. Glanville agreed and offered to talk to the sheriff.

Contempt Of Court

Brian Steel, the lawyer for Young Thug, was held in contempt of court by Judge Ural Glanville after refusing to disclose how he obtained information about a private meeting held in the judge's chambers. Steel claimed the meeting, which included the judge, prosecutors, and a key witness, occurred before court proceedings began. Judge Glanville demanded Steel reveal the source of his information. However, Steel declined, leading to his contempt charge and subsequent sentence of 20 days in jail, to be served over 10 weekends.

Controversial Communication

The controversy began when Steel learned of an ex parte conversation involving Kenneth Copeland, a key witness who had refused to testify despite an immunity deal. Furthermore, Steel argued that the conversation between the judge, prosecutors, and Copeland was improper. He then accused the court of coercion and witness intimidation. Judge Glanville, however, emphasized the confidentiality of such communications. Finally, he expressed concern over the leak of this information, which led to Steel's contempt charge.

Defense Attorney's Stand

Steel's refusal to disclose his source led to his removal from the courtroom. Fortunately, he was later allowed back in at the request of lead prosecutor Adriane Love. The courtroom saw heightened tensions, with Young Thug’s other attorney, Keith Adams, objecting to proceeding without Steel. Judge Glanville insisted that the trial continue and admonished Adams for attempting to "extort the court." The judge’s decision to hold Steel in contempt was supported by legal precedent, which allows courts to compel obedience to their orders and control the conduct of individuals involved in judicial proceedings.

The arrest of Brian Steel sparked outrage among the legal community, with several Atlanta attorneys advocating for his release. Marietta attorney Ashleigh Merchant, representing Steel, requested Judge Glanville recuse himself from the contempt case, arguing that a neutral judge should hear the matter. The legal community, including Steel's wife Colette Resnik Steel, voiced their support, stressing the difficulties faced by criminal defense attorneys and condemning Steel's treatment.

Implications For The Trial

Steel’s arrest is not the first disruption in the high-profile trial of Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams. The trial, which has already faced numerous delays and issues, is expected to continue well into the next year. Prosecutors allege that Williams is the leader of the "Young Slime Life" gang, involved in various criminal activities. Jury selection took ten months, and the trial has seen fewer than 80 of the prosecution’s over 200 witnesses testify so far. Despite the turmoil, Judge Glanville has maintained that the proceedings will not be halted.

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About The Author
Axl Banks is a passionate pop culture and music writer with a deep love for hip-hop and internet culture. With a keen eye for trends and a knack for storytelling, Axl offers fresh insights and engaging narratives surrounding music and online phenomena.