Stay updated in the double murder trial against rapper YNW Melly — whose birth name is Jamell Demons. The up-and-coming star is accused of killing two of his friends — also rappers — then staging the murders as a drive-by shooting in the Miami area.
The only witness to take the stand Monday was mask-wearing Detective Danny Polo. He ended up taking his mask off after the court was made aware that there were photos of him and his family online, specifically on CashApp. Polo testified that it is clear YNW Melly was involved in the Bloods gang. The defense argued that just because there is evidence he could be involved in a gang, doesn’t mean he is a killer. Court resumes with the ninth day of witness testimony Tuesday at 9 a.m.
The Case Details
In October 2018, YNW Melly’s best friend, Cortlen Henry, aka YNW Bortlen, showed up to a Miami area hospital claiming his friends were hit during a drive-by shooting. He said they were bleeding out inside his car, according to the rapper’s arrest affidavit.
Anthony Williams, aka YNW Sakchaser, and Christopher Thomas, aka YNW Juvy, were found dead with multiple gunshot wounds. Henry told detectives he just left a recording studio with Williams and Thomas in Fort Lauderdale when a car pulled up and started shooting. Henry said he was able to duck from the bullets, but Williams and Thomas were hit.
When police arrived to the “crime scene,” they found no evidence that there had been a shooting. As officers investigated, surveillance video showed Melly, Henry, Williams and Thomas together in Henry’s car when Henry claimed the shooting happened. After looking at phone data and blood spatter evidence, detectives determined the group were together the night of the crime and the victims were shot in the car.
Police arrested Melly for two counts of first-degree murder in February 2019. If convicted, Melly faces the death penalty.
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