Florida State prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against rapper YNW Melly for double homicide.
The rapper’s lawyer, Jason Roger Williams, says the prosecution has indicated it would seek the death penalty since the beginning of the case. The prosecution will present evidence at a discovery hearing for the case later this week.
Earlier this year, YNW Melly (real name Jamell Demons) was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say the rapper and his comrade, YNW Bortlent (real name Cortlen Henry), killed two members of the YNW crew in South Florida.
The two slain members of the YNW crew were victims of an apparent drive-by shooting on December 4th. Later, police revealed that this was likely a fabrication.
YMW Melly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His family and fans have been leading an effort to get Melly released. The 19-year-old SoundCloud rapper first released We All Shine in January of this year, his debut album featuring Kanye West.
The rapper’s biggest hit was his 2017 single “Murder on My Mind,” which recently went gold and is trending towards platinum.
The acronym is short for ‘Young Ni**a World’ and includes several other rappers. Occasionally, Melly has said the acronym stands for ‘Young New Wave’ to avoid being censored on TV.
- Jamell Demons – YNW Melly
- Anthony Williams – YNW Sakchaser (killed)
- Chris Thomas Jr. – YNW Jurvy (killed)
- Cortlen Henry – YNW Bortlen (also on trial with YMW Melly)
YNW Melly was arrested on February 13th for shooting and killing Williams and Thomas. In his mugshot, he can be seen smiling at the camera. Melly has maintained his innocence in recent social media posts, saying “no worries, god is with me.”
On February 25th, police cited phone records that confirmed Melly was at the scene of the crime. On March 6th, Melly entered his plea of not guilty.
YNW Bortlen is accused of attempting to cover up the deaths as a drive-by shooting.