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YNW Melly death penalty: What is YNW Melly in prison for?

Jamell Maurice Demons born known professionally as YNW Melly (initialism for Young Nigga World Melly), is an American rapper and singer.

He is best known for his songs “Murder on My Mind”, “Mixed Personalities” (featuring Kanye West), “Suicidal” (featuring Juice Wrld), and “223’s” (featuring 9lokkNine).

The first is considered his breakout, which garnered him further attention after being charged with the double-murder of two fellow rappers in the “YNW” collective.

YNW Melly
YNW Melly

Who is YNW Melly?

Jamell Demons was born on May 1, 1999, and grew up in Gifford, Florida. He was raised by his single mother, Jamie Demons-King, and an unknown father.

Demons-King was 14 years old when she became pregnant with him, giving birth to him in ninth grade.  Demons’ younger brother YNW BSlime is also a rapper.

Demons joined the Bloods gang at a young age. He started posting his songs on SoundCloud when he was 15.

Over the years, YNW Melly has released a number of songs but is best known for the hits “Murder on My Mind”, “Mixed Personalities” (featuring Kanye West), “Suicidal” (featuring Juice Wrld), and “223’s” (featuring 9lokkNine).

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ynw melly


Why is YNW Melly in prison?

YNW Melly was arrested in February 2019 for the alleged drive-by shooting murders of Christopher Thomas Jr and Anthony Williams, known as YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser respectively.

Both men were members of the rap group YNW Melly is a part of, and were killed in October 2018.

Officers alleged that after YNW Melly killed Williams and Thomas, the rapper used a Jeep to make it look like their deaths were the result of a drive-by shooting.

Another friend, Cortlen Henry, aka YNW Bortlen, was accused of helping the singer to stage the crime scene.

The four men had been travelling home in the same vehicle from a recording session, reports TC Palm. Prosecutors say Melly was in the rear left passenger seat, and that Henry was driving.

Henry allegedly drove the two teenage victims to the emergency room entrance of Memorial Hospital Miramar, where they died as a result of their injuries.

Tania Rues, Miramar police spokesperson, said: “They arrived with multiple gunshot wounds. “They were dead already.” Melly has pleaded not guilty to the fatal shootings.

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YNW Melly

Will YNW Melly face death penalty?

Prosecutors initially filed intent to seek the death penalty against the rapper, in a notice that also accused the rapper of being a gang member.

The State of Florida accused the rapper of murdering his friends “in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretence of moral or legal justification”.

The prosecutors alleged they could prove “beyond all reasonable doubt” that the killings were “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel,” and that the motive was for monetary gain, reports Fader, citing the singer’s court papers.

In July 2022, he almost avoided the possibility of execution after Judge Andrew Siegel decided that prosecutors had failed to give him and his attorneys the appropriate notice they were seeking the death penalty.

But by November the same year, the appeals court reversed this ruling, stating the rapper was adequately informed when he was first charged in 2019.

The court wrote in its opinion: “Notice is notice,” according to Billboard.

The shock ruling means that Melly – real name Jamell Demons – could be sentenced to death if he is convicted in his upcoming trial.

The decision will not be finalised until the Florida Supreme Court rules on the case, due to it being of “great public importance”.

The Murder on My Mind rapper was “disappointed in the ruling”, his attorney Philip R. Horowitz said.

However, he said the pair will still “look forward to our opportunity to argue our position before the justices.”

Ahead of the trial start date, the judge poured further misery on the rapper by ruling that the jury could recommend a death sentence with an 8-4 vote.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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