Fulton County Mayhem: Rapper’s Attorney Held In Contempt, Ordered To Jail After Refusing To Reveal Source To Judge

The defense attorney for rapper Young Thug was held in contempt of court and arrested in Fulton County, Georgia, on Monday after he refused to reveal information he obtained about an ex parte meeting held in the judge’s chambers between the prosecution and a key witness.

Attorney Brian Steel got into a heated exchange with Judge Ural Glanville after Steel revealed information about a private meeting between the judge, the state, and a key witness, 11 Alive reported. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is in the middle of what has already been the longest trial in Georgia history. Young Thug was indicted with 27 others in the spring of 2022 on allegations that he leads the YSL street gang, which investigators have tied to drug deals, drive-by shootings, and the deaths of at least three people in Atlanta.

Along with gun and drug charges, the rapper was charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) — the same charges leveled against former President Donald Trump, who is also being prosecuted in Fulton County.

Steel motioned for a mistrial, telling Judge Glanville that he received information about the ex parte meeting, which means it was done outside of the presence of opposing counsel, excluding the rapper’s defense team. The attorney alleged that during the meeting, the judge and district attorney’s office convinced Kenneth “YSL Woody” Copeland to testify. Copeland was previously held in contempt and arrested after pleading the fifth during testimony last week, but during the ex parte meeting, Copeland allegedly admitted to killing Donovan “Nut” Thomas Jr, who was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting.

“I need you to tell me how you got the information [about the meeting],” Judge Glanville told Steel. “If you don’t tell me how you got the information, I’m going to hold you in contempt.”

“I understand. I don’t want to be held in contempt,” Steel replied.

“I don’t want to hold you in contempt, but this is so sacrosanct to have a conversation in my chambers parrotted to you and others,” the judge added. “It is that serious.”

Steel agreed with the judge about the seriousness of the meeting, adding, “That’s why we should’ve been there.” He also asked why the meeting with a witness would be held ex parte.

“It’s ex parte because that’s what the state asked me to do,” Glanville said. “It’s just like when you asked me for an ex parte conversation.”

“I’ve never asked this court or any court to meet with me and a witness,” Steel said.

Judge Glanville then again asked Steel to reveal how he obtained information about the meeting with the state and Copeland, but the defense attorney refused, arguing that he isn’t permitted to disclose his source.

“Well, I’m gonna hold you in contempt,” the judge said. “And you can think about it — 5 o’clock today we’ll see where you stand on that point.”

Glanville again ripped into the defense attorney, accusing him of eavesdropping to “get information that was not meant for you to hear at that particular point in time.” Steel argued that the meeting was proof of “coercion” and “witness intimidation” during “ex parte communications that we have a constitutional right to be present for.”

The judge ordered Steel to be jailed for “no more than 20 days” for contempt of court. Steel will serve his jail sentence every weekend for the next 10 weekends, per the judge’s order. Steel asked if he could spend his time in jail with his client, Young Thug, to help him prepare for court, and the judge said he would ask the Fulton County sheriff if that would be possible

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