On Monday, attorneys for Gunna (born Sergio Kitchens) filed a fourth motion for reasonable bond, days after a judge denied his release, stating that the State “has failed” to provide adequate proof that the rapper would intimidate witnesses were he to be released.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville had previously denied Kitchens’ bond motions, expressing concerns that he would intimidate witnesses, though Gunna’s attorneys claim that the State has yet to provide evidence of such that would satisfy “the State’s burden of persuasion under the preponderance standard of proof.”
“The defense produced real evidence … that Kitchens is a good candidate for pretrial bond and has offered an abundance of conditions that will reasonably assure the Court that Kitchens poses no significant risk or threat to any person,” reads the filing obtained by Rolling Stone. “Yet, for some unknown reason, the Court has repeatedly ignored this evidence and the proposed conditions.”
The filing also claims that Gunna’s attorneys were not provided with the discovery submission of an alleged text message where one person “offered to murder” someone on behalf of Kitchens, and that his involvement with said individuals was “undeniably false.”
“The State’s failure to correct any of its exaggerations and false proffers is a blight on the Fulton County District Attorney’s office,” reads the filing. It adds: “The Court deserves nothing less than to be told the truth by the prosecutors.”
The new court document — issued by Gunna’s attorneys Steven Sadow, Kristen Novay, Donald Samuel, and John Garland — comes after the judge denied his release at a court hearing last Thursday.
“Although we must respect the Court’s ruling, we know it is wrong,” Sadow told Rolling Stone at the time. “Gunna is innocent of the charge against him and should not be in jail pending trial.”
“The prosecution has produced no evidence that supports the denial of bond,” Sadow added. “Keeping him detained is a miscarriage of justice.”
Kitchens’ lawyers originally claimed that “the ‘ongoing investigation’ has failed to verify a single instance in which one single person has actually made an accusation that Kitchens has threatened anybody (directly or indirectly).”
The rapper’s lawyers contended that “the DA has pruned the indictment in the superseding indictment to remove virtually any reference to Kitchens’ involvement in any violence-related offense.”
The late September filing also stated that Kitchens “has been dropped from overt act 75” of the YSL indictment, which refers to a May 2018 traffic stop in which he and Young Thug (given name Jeffery Williams) were stopped for speeding. Police also stopped the vehicle behind the two, which contained four of their alleged associates armed with numerous weapons, including an AK-47.
Kitchens was arrested in May and charged with a single count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act. Prosecutors allege that Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life record label is also a gang called Young Slime Life, which Thug and Gunna have been leading.
But the indictment has drawn widespread criticism from criminal justice reform advocates due to the use of YSL artists’ lyrics as evidence.
Gunna’s trial is set to start in January 2023.
This story was updated on Oct. 17 to include the new filing — a fourth motion for reasonable bond — made Monday.