Young Thug YSL Rico trial paused by judge as one of the defendants suffers jailhouse stabbing


The high-profile racketeering (RICO) trial of hip-hop recording artist Jeffery Williams, better known by his stage name, Young Thug, will be paused for at least a day after one of the defendants was stabbed in the Fulton County Jail overnight, Law&Crime has learned.

Young Slime Life (YSL) defendant Shannon Stillwell, also known as Shannon Jackson and SB, is currently being treated in an Atlanta-area hospital in stable condition. In May 2022, he was indicted on seven total counts including charges of murder, racketeering, participation in a criminal street gang, and various gun charges.

“I can confirm he was stabbed,” Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Director of Communications Natalie L. Ammons told Law&Crime.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office announced that inmate Willie Brown was charged with aggravated assault and possession of prohibited items in connection to the stabbing.

“On the evening of Sunday, December 10, 2023, a fight occurred between Willie Brown and Shannon Jackson at the Rice Street Jail,” the press release reads. “During the fight, Jackson was stabbed multiple times by Brown. Jackson is in stable condition. Brown and Jackson were housed in the same zone. It is unknown what led to the fight. Willie Brown was initially arrested by the East Point Police Department for several charges on July 22, 2020 and was being held without bond.”

As court began on Monday morning, Judge Ural Glanville went through his typically lengthy roll call for the numerous attorneys in attendance representing the six total co-defendants, and the state, in the all-ways sprawling gangland RICO case. The judge hinted at the stabbing immediately, saying he would “take up something as it relates to Mr. Stillwell” after everyone was signed in for the day.

Then, Stillwell’s attorney, Max Schardt was called up for a nearly five-minute long sidebar, along with some of the prosecutors. The rest of the attorneys and defendants were allowed to listen in by using closed-circuit headphones but the discussion was not public.

The judge then called in the jury, offered them a “good morning,” asked about their weekend, and told them they had the day off.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” Glanville said, “We’ve had a medical issue come up for one of our participants, so we have to recess for the day.”

“These things happen,” the judge added.

Shannon Stillwell appears in his booking photo, on the left, and in court on Dec. 8, 2023.

Left: Shannon Stillwell appears in a booking photo; Right: Stillwell appears in court on Dec. 8, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office; Law&Crime Network)

There was initially some discussion about pausing proceedings for an entire week — which would have meant pushing the case forward until January due to already-limited holiday scheduling.

Court was ultimately recessed until Tuesday morning. The judge suggested the stabbing issue will taken up on a day-to-day basis

“Depending upon the information that we get,” Glanville said. “We’ll see what happens once the court gets more data points.”

The attack on Stillwell, happening just before what would have been the 10th day of testimony, further wrenches a case already slowed by months of jury selection and numerous unexpected setbacks.

Williams, Stillwell, and four other co-defendants — Marquavius “Qua” Huey, Deamonte “Yak Gotti” Kendrick, Quamarvious “Qua” Nichols, and Rodalius “Lil Rod” Ryan — face the prospect of a long trial after an 86-page RICO indictment was filed against 28 total defendants last spring. Since then, nine defendants have taken plea deals, including Antonio “Mounk Tounk” Sledge and Williams’ brother Quantavious “Unfoonk” Grier. Others have had their cases separated.

The lead defendant is the purported leader of the YSL gang. He is charged with eight violations of Georgia’s homegrown RICO statute, and his remaining co-defendants are charged with various other crimes. Since their trials are being held together, however, each defendant has their own legal counsel who has the opportunity to lodge their own complaints and present unique defenses — resulting in the glacial pace of courtroom proceedings so far. Overall testimony in the case is anticipated to take at least half a year due to the sheer number of defendants, allegations, and defense attorneys involved.

Editor’s note: this story has been amended post-publication to include additional information from the local sheriff’s office.

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