Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, condemned and sentenced to prison

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – One of Young Thug’s two lawyers was arrested Monday on criminal contempt charges and sentenced to nearly three weeks in jail.

On Monday evening, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville ordered Brian Steel held in the Fulton County Jail for no more than 20 days, including each weekend for the next 10 weekends.

Brian Steel was arrested Monday afternoon when he refused to answer Glanville’s repeated requests about how he learned about the conversation between prosecutors.

“The judge had ex parte contact with the district attorney and the witness. This means that he talked to a lawyer and a witness without the defense lawyer’s presence. And that is widely considered inappropriate,” said Tom Church, a trial lawyer who went to court to show support for Steel. “So Mr. Steel found out about this, filed a motion for a mistrial, and the judge demanded that Mr. Steel reveal this source.”

Glanville said Steel obtained leaked information in violation of the law.

According to the court reporter, Steel received information about what took place during an ex parte interview between Fulton County prosecutors and Glanville. When Glanville asked Steel how he received the leaked information, Steel refused to reveal the source.

The legal term “ex parte”, translated from Latin as “outside party”, refers to a decision made by a judge without requiring the presence of all parties to the dispute.

“How did you obtain this information supposedly from my chambers? Has anyone told you? Glanville asked Steel.

“You should have told me,” Steel argued.

Steel and Young Thug’s other lawyer, Keith Adams, moved for a mistrial, as did lawyers for some of the other defendants in the suit. Glanville rejected all applications.

Glanville said Steel would remain held in contempt until he told where he got the information. Steel can continue to provide counsel at trial as long as he is treated in contempt.

“I think it went well. “It means any time you get your client out of court, it’s a good thing and I really think the appellate court will take an interest in this case and we’ll probably be able to get the verdict overturned,” said Ashleigh Merchant, who represented Steel at the hearing. “In cases like this, the proceedings usually move quite quickly because the custodial sentence actually starts on Friday. Therefore, the appellate court usually grants bail so that the imposition of a prison sentence does not actually occur.”

Former Fulton County Public Defender Chandelle Summer reacted to Steel’s imprisonment Monday night, saying Glanville may have violated the law.

“Judges may not question or participate in any examination of a witness who has been sworn in, especially if the purpose of the meeting is to induce the witness to testify,” Summer said in a statement. “Steel should file a writ of Habeas Corpus requesting an immediate hearing because he is being held illegally.”

The Young Thug gangster trial in Atlanta resumed late Monday morning after Kenneth Copeland – arrested Friday and treated with contempt – was led into the courtroom in handcuffs and shackles.

On Friday, Copeland, also known as rapper Lil Woody, was arrested in the dock and taken into custody on contempt of court charges. Before jurors were summoned, Copeland’s attorney, John Melnick, said his client did not want to testify and planned to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights.

Glanville explained to Copeland that there was an immunity order that prevented his testimony from being used against him and that if he did not testify, he risked being found in contempt of court.

After a lunch break, the jury was called and Copeland took the witness stand. He was arrested after a Fulton County prosecutor asked him how old he was.

“I’m an adult,” Copeland said. “I’m an adult.”

When prosecutors asked him how old he was, he replied, “I’m on the fifth.” Glanville then ordered him arrested.