Jozsef Papp, Shaddi Abusaid
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — One of the 14 defendants standing trial in the sweeping gang case against rapper Young Thug and his alleged associates wants to represent himself.
Attorney Gina Bernard, who represents Jayden Myrick, filed a motion Wednesday asking the judge to schedule a hearing to determine if her client is competent to represent himself during the lengthy trial. Myrick told his attorney Wednesday morning that he wants to exercise that right, Bernard wrote.
Bernard, who works as a public defender, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she had to make the court aware of her client’s request and that a hearing on the matter would likely be held at a later date.
Myrick faces five charges, including conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, attempted murder, possession of a weapon by an incarcerated individual and two counts of participation in criminal street gang activity. According to an indictment, Myrick and two other defendants tried to “shank” rival rapper YFN Lucci in February 2022 in the Fulton County Jail.
The 22-year-old is already serving life without parole after he was convicted in October of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and 13 other counts in the July 2018 shooting of Christian Broder outside an Atlanta country club.
During that trial, Myrick said he became affiliated with a street gang as a child and had ties to YSL and the Nine Trey Gangsters, but currently identifies as a member of “4PF.” On the stand, Myrick said he was groomed by older gang members starting when he was just 9 or 10.
“I was too young to get jumped in,” Myrick told prosecutor Chris Sperry when asked about his ties to the Bloods-affiliated Nine Trey Gangsters. “But as I grew older, I was like family to them.”
He said during the murder trial that he met Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, on numerous occasions and that the popular rapper attended one of his hearings to show support.
The YSL indictment, which was handed up last May, initially named 28 defendants. Of those, eight took plea deals and six had their cases severed because they were either not in custody or didn’t have attorneys representing them.
The lengthy jury selection process began in January and is expected to continue for several months.
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