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YSL Defendant Shannon Stillwell Is Stabbed, Delaying Young Thug Trial

YSL Defendant Shannon Stillwell Is Stabbed, Delaying Young Thug Trial

Shannon Stillwell, a co-defendant of the superstar rapper Young Thug in the racketeering and gang conspiracy case currently underway in Atlanta, was stabbed in jail on Sunday night, a lawyer for Mr. Stillwell said, delaying the blockbuster trial.

Mr. Stillwell was being held at the Fulton County Jail, known as Rice Street, a facility that has faced criticism for its disorder and a recent spate of violence.

“He is with us — he is alive,” Max Schardt, a lawyer for Mr. Stillwell, said in an interview on Monday. “But I fear that it was serious.”

Mr. Schardt said that he was still gathering details about the circumstances of the attack, and that he had arranged to speak with his client this afternoon.

Natalie L. Ammons, the director of communications for Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that Mr. Stillwell was stabbed but did not immediately provide additional details. Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.

Mr. Stillwell, known as SB or Shannon Jackson, is among the five defendants currently on trial alongside the popular Atlanta rapper Young Thug, born Jeffery Williams, who stands accused of being the leader of a violent criminal street gang known as YSL, or Young Slime Life. Mr. Williams, who has pleaded not guilty, has said that his gangster persona is fictional and that YSL is simply his record label.

In addition to being charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, and participation in criminal street gang activity, Mr. Stillwell faces two counts of murder, including involvement in the 2015 drive-by shooting of a rival gang member that prosecutors say set off a yearslong war that terrorized the area. Mr. Stillwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The case also includes claims that other members of YSL attempted to kill a rival, Rayshawn Bennett, known as the rapper YFN Lucci, by stabbing him at the Fulton County Jail. (Mr. Bennett is awaiting trial following a 2021 RICO indictment against YFN in Fulton County.)

On Monday, the judge in the YSL case, Ural Glanville, called for a recess, citing a “medical issue” involving one of the trial participants. He called for the lawyers to return to court on Tuesday morning to decide how they would proceed.

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After court adjourned on Monday, Judge Glanville filed two orders in the case related to Mr. Stillwell. One stated that Mr. Schardt and his colleagues could visit Mr. Stillwell at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, where he was being treated, “to the extent that it is medically cleared.” The other ordered that Mr. Stillwell, upon his recovery, be “kept separate from the other defendants in this case at all times,” including in jail, during transport and at the courthouse.

The complex RICO case from the office of the prosecutor Fani T. Willis originally included 28 defendants, many of whom have pleaded guilty or had their cases severed. Since the initial indictments in May 2022, the case has seen disruptions from all sides, including nearly 10 months of jury selection.

Opening arguments began on Nov. 27; the trial could last up to six months or more.

“We’ve invested a large amount of time in this case to prepare for trial,” Mr. Schardt, the lawyer for Mr. Stillwell, said. “Quite frankly, we want Shannon to have his day in court because we believe that he is innocent. We don’t want unnecessary delays, but we’re going to defer to the doctors.”


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