Gunna Is Officially a Free Man Thanks to a Plea Deal

Culture
The rapper stressed that this deal does not mean he will be cooperating with the prosecution going forward in the case against Young Thug and YSL.

Gunna performs during the 2020 Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove on March 06 2020 in Okeechobee Florida.

Gunna performs during the 2020 Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove on March 06, 2020 in Okeechobee, Florida.Courtesy of Tim Mosenfelder via WireImage/Getty

Gunna has been freed from prison after negotiating a plea deal following an over six month stint behind bars after being named in a RICO indictment against Young Thug and YSL. Gunna (whose real name is Sergio Kitchens) also released a public statement where he said he has never viewed YSL as a gang, but instead as a creative collective, and stressed that this plea does not mean he will be cooperating with the prosecution going forward.

“When I became affiliated with YSL in 2016, I did not consider it a ‘gang’: more like a group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations,” he said. “My focus of YSL was entertainment – rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community.”

The prosecution in the YSL RICO case, which includes 28 total defendants, argued that the entity (alternately called Young Stoner Life and Young Slime Life) is actually a dangerous gang that has facilitated and perpetrated crimes around the Atlanta area. In his statement, Gunna seems to be drawing a distinction between YSL as an entertainment brand and YSL as a gang, saying, “I recognize, accept and deeply regret that my talent and music indirectly furthered YSL the gang to the detriment of my community…YSL as a gang must end.” Still, Gunna emphasized that he will not be providing information about his friends and collaborators in exchange for his freedom.

“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,” the statement read.

Per WSB-TV, the multi-platinum rapper received a five-year sentence, with one commuted because of the time he’s already spent incarcerated. The rest of the sentence was suspended and “will be subject to special conditions including 500 hours of community service.” The Atlanta news outlet further reported that Gunna entered what’s called an Alford plea, in which he simultaneously formally pleads guilty while also maintaining his innocence, essentially stating his team believes a guilty verdict would likely be the result of a trial.

In the original YSL indictment, Gunna is accused of felony possession with intent to distribute of several controlled substances, and had lyrics from his track “Fox 5” with Lil Keed and jewelry he wore in its corresponding video cited as “overt act[s] in furtherance of the conspiracy.” That led to a single charge of violating the RICO act.

Earlier on December 14, Gunna announced his fifth Gunna’s Great Giveaway philanthropy event on Instagram, aimed at assisting families in need during the holiday season. In addition to Gunna, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Walter Murphy, another member of YSL, also plead guilty. According to Atlanta’s Fox 5, selection for the jury will begin in early January 2023.

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