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Young Thug’s lawyers want co-defendant removed from trial due to antics

Cordarius Dorsey looks out as he waits for the jury selection portion of the trial to continue in a Fulton County courtroom on Monday, Feb 6.  (Tribune News Service)
By Shaddi Abusaid Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA – Citing “unprofessional and unacceptable” conduct in court, attorneys for Atlanta rapper Young Thug have asked the judge presiding over the “Young Slime Life” gang case to remove one of the star’s co-defendants from the trial.

Cordarius Dorsey, one of 28 people charged in last year’s sweeping Fulton County racketeering indictment, has made peculiar movements and gestures inside the courtroom since jury selection began in January.

As defense attorneys question prospective jurors, Dorsey can often be seen listening to headphones and moving his head in the front of the courtroom. Lawyers for Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, say Dorsey’s conduct could “sabotage” their client’s right to a fair trial.

“Mr. Williams asks this Honorable Court to exercise its discretion and sever Mr. Dorsey so that Mr. Williams’ Constitutional right to a fair trial is not prejudiced,” Williams’ attorneys wrote in a motion last week.

Dorsey is already serving a life sentence after being convicted of a 2019 DeKalb County murder and, in addition to the YSL trial, is currently involved in a murder trial in Fulton. Closing arguments in that case are expected to begin Wednesday.

Chief Judge Ural Glanville, presiding over the YSL trial, acknowledged Dorsey’s “extra movements” in his courtroom, but has yet to decide whether to sever his case and have him tried separately.

Doing so would bring the remaining number of defendants set to stand trial together to seven.

On Tuesday, Dorsey’s attorney, Suri Chadha Jimenez, said he doesn’t think his client’s case should be severed, especially after sitting through eight months of jury selection. No jurors have been seated yet.

“It doesn’t seem like this rises to the level of requiring a severance,” Chadha Jimenez said. “He is entitled to a trial by his peers and we don’t see any reason for him to be severed.”

Dorsey and another man were convicted last year in the 2019 armed robbery and fatal shooting of Sulaiman Jalloh, a 39-year-old husband and father of six who was gunned down outside a Gresham Park gas station.

In the simultaneous murder trial, Dorsey is accused of killing 44-year-old Xavier Turner outside a College Park discount strip mall in January 2020 and shooting another man in the face.