Last state witness returns to stand

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. Court resumes 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Before testimony resumed Tuesday morning, the court learned YNW Juvy’s sister allegedly threatened to harm YNW Melly’s mother, Jamie King, on social media. Now, King will have a bodyguard anytime she’s at the courthouse.

Detective Mark Moretti then resumed his testimony Tuesday. He was the only witness to testify Tuesday and the state said he is its last witness.

Video from a documentary about YNW Melly’s life was played in court Tuesday morning. The video footage showed the bond between YNW Melly and his childhood friends YNW SakChaser and and YNW Juvy. Later in the afternoon, Moretti read multiple pages of text messages aloud. Moretti returns to the stand for his third day of testimony.

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.

Williams, aka YNW Sakchaser, and 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.

Anthony Williams (left), Christopher Thomas (right)

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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Last state witness returns to stand

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