Judge Ural Glanville faces removal from Young Thug trial amid allegations of bias

Accusations of bias and courtroom disruptions plague high-profile trial of rapper Young Thug, aka Jeffery Williams.

Pop Culture & Art July 10, 2024
Courtesy: Arvin Temkar via Atlanta Journal of Constitution

Judge Ural Glanville has come under fire in the high-profile trial of Jeffery Williams, better known as rapper Young Thug. 

Defense attorneys have accused Glanville of running his courtroom “like communist Russia,” yelling at a Fulton County prosecutor to “have a seat, madam!” and jailing the prosecution’s star witness seconds after he pleaded the Fifth on the stand. 

The judge even expressed a desire to see a defense attorney in jail for 20 days, though the Supreme Court of Georgia temporarily blocked that order.

Glanville, who has served on the court since 2005 and holds the rank of brigadier general, is now facing possible dismissal from the trial. His fate rests with his bench colleague, Judge Rachel Krause. 

This development follows numerous denied motions from attorneys representing Young Thug and his co-defendants, as well as claims of bias against Glanville. 

The trial has seen repeated admonishments from Glanville for prosecutors and defense attorneys to cooperate and come prepared each day.

The latest controversy centers on a June 10, 2024, ex parte meeting involving Glanville, two Fulton County prosecutors, star witness Kenneth Copeland (aka Woody or Lil’ Woody), and his stand-in attorney, Kayla Bumpus. 

This meeting, which was held without the knowledge of defense attorneys, led to Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, being held in contempt of court. 

Steel was jailed after refusing to disclose how he learned of the ex parte meeting, though this ruling has since been suspended by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

The trial, which began on November 27, 2023, has been marred by arrests, charges, and disruptions. Jury selection took longer than any other in Georgia history, and witness testimony is expected to surpass state records. 

Prosecutors are attempting to prove that YSL (Young Slime Life) is a criminal street gang responsible for numerous offenses, while defense attorneys argue that YSL is merely a record label, Young Stoner Life.

Young Thug faces eight criminal counts under Georgia’s RICO law, as well as charges for possession of marijuana, codeine, cocaine, a firearm, and a machine gun. 

The defense maintains that Williams is not the leader of an alleged gang, as prosecutors claim.

The trial continues with 18 jurors, including six alternates. Two jurors have already been excused due to a medical emergency and relocation out of Fulton County.


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