Atlanta rapper Gunna was released from jail after he pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in the ongoing RICO indictment against fellow rapper Young Thug and several other members of YSL, a record label that prosecutors allege to be a criminal street gang.
According to WSBTV, Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, negotiated an Alford plea deal during his court trial on Wednesday. Under the agreement, a defendant does not have to admit that they committed a crime. However, the defendant must admit that the evidence presented by the prosecution could likely be used to persuade a judge or jury to find them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under the plea deal, the “Pushing “P hitmaker was sentenced to five years with one year to serve in prison. His one-year sentence was commuted to time served, and the remaining sentence was suspended. Now, Gunna will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, with 350 of those hours speaking to young men and women in the community about the dangers of gangs and gang violence, Fox 5 Atlanta noted.
As previously reported, Gunna had been in jail since May 2022. In the spring, officials from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office indicted him and 25 other artists affiliated with the Hip-Hop label YSL on racketeering, theft and assault among other charges. Following his arrest, Gunna was slammed with one count of racketeering. Prosecutors alleged that the rapper received stolen property and was in possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.
Lyrics from some of the rapper’s popular songs were used in court to file a case against him, but the rapper’s law team argued that his lyrical content provided no “basis for denying bond.” Back in September, attorneys for the Atlanta native filed a motion to have the indictment dropped, claiming that they did not have enough evidence to prosecute him.
Gunna made a number of statements that could impact Young Thug’s case
Now that Gunna is released, uncertainty looms around Young Thug and whether he will be freed from behind bars. The 31-year-old rapper remains in jail and is set to begin his trial in January. According to 11 Alive, the Hip-Hop star, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, attended a court hearing Dec. 15, but details about the court session remain unclear. Young Thug was indicted on eight counts in the sweeping RICO case back in the Spring.
During Gunna’s trial on Wednesday, the rapper made a number of shocking confessions when the judge asked him to confirm several details about the case as part of the plea deal. The 29-year-old said he joined YSL in 2016, but at the time, he didn’t believe that the record label was a gang. He claimed that members of the group shared “common interests and artistic aspirations,” WSBTV noted.
However later, when asked if he had personal knowledge about criminal activity associated with the label, Gunna said “Yes.” He also admitted to being in the car with Yung Thug when officers pulled them over and found a gun and drugs in the vehicle. He claimed that the drugs and the gun weren’t his, according to the plea agreement.
“I recognize, accept, and deeply regret that my talent and music indirectly furthered YSL the gang to the detriment of my community,” said the judge, as she read a direct quote from Gunna’s signed statement. “YSL as a gang must end.”
After the plea deal was issued, the rapper released a statement, saying:
“While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way.”
It’s unclear how his statements will impact Young Thug’s chance at freedom.