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Another defendant severed from YSL RICO case after falling ill: attorney

Damone Blalock is facing one count of conspiracy to violate the state's RICO act, according to the indictment.

ATLANTA — Another defendant was severed from the YSL RICO case Monday, according to Attorney Justin Hill -- who represents Damone Blalock. 

Hill said the judge decided to severe Blalock after he fell ill and couldn't appear in court. 

"The state actually objected to his severance," Hill said. "However, the judge elected to severe him (Blalock) anyway."

Blalock is facing one count of conspiracy to violate the state's RICO Act, according to the indictment. Hill said it's now up to the state on whether they elect to prosecute him (Blalock) at a later date.

Last week, Rapper Young Thug was also in and out of the hospital after he was not feeling well. 

RELATED: Young Thug 'not feeling well,' taken to hospital again: Attorneys

Below is a recap on the high-profile case that involves Young Thug.

Why is Young Thug in Jail?

The rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Williams, is one of 28 people charged with being part of the Young Slime Life street gang in a sweeping indictment brought last month by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. 

In particular, the Fulton County DA is targeting Young Thug as the alleged "head" of the gang - "he's the one they're all afraid of, he's the one that's King Slime" is how one prosecutor put it during the bond hearing.

However, the rapper's attorneys have argued there is no foundation for these accusations, saying he's being punished on the basis of rap lyrics and social media posts and little to no evidence of any criminal acts. They have emphasized his influence to the Cleveland Avenue community and to art.

Where does the case stand?

The ongoing jury selection is heading into its fifth month in the Young Slime Life RICO trial in Fulton County. May marked one year since the original indictment was handed down by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, alleging that YSL committed nearly 200 criminal acts. 

It could take even longer to finally seat those deciding the fate of more than a dozen alleged gang members. 

There were originally 28 defendants listed in the initial indictment. Some did not get an attorney while others took a plea deal with the DA's Office, bringing the total down to 11 at this point.

Already, the YSL RICO trial is on pace to shatter records as the longest criminal trial in Fulton County history.


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