YNW Melly's mugshot following his arrest in February 2019

YNW Melly's mugshot following his arrest in February 2019

Broward County Police Department

YNW Melly Seeks Release on Bond Following Case Mistrial

Attorneys representing YNW Melly file motion for the Florida judge to hold hearing about possible bond release, argue that co-defendant has been granted release despite alike charges

Hip-hop artist YNW Melly is now asking to be released on bond while awaiting his retrial in his double murder case that has been ongoing for the past four years. Three weeks ago, the jury failed to reach an unanimous decision following nineteen days of litigation, thus causing a mistrial.

Attorneys representing the artist have filed a motion on Tuesday to hold a hearing regarding his status to be released on bond; their argument being that the co-defendant has been granted a bond, despite facing similar charges. They also note that the judge has the discretion to grant a bond though the charges are considered non-bondable.

YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, has been held in the Broward County Jail since February 2019 when he surrendered to local authorities. Demons is facing two charges of murder in the first degree, accused of killing childhood friends Christopher Thomas Jr. and Anthony Williams in October of 2018.

Despite the original trial being declared a mistrial, Demons still faces the death penalty if convicted on these charges. The death penalty punishment has been made easier to enact in the state of Florida due to a 2023 law that makes it possible to issue the punishment without unanimous support.

In a report from XXL, state prosecutors filed a motion to follow a new statute that allows juries to recommend a death sentence with an 8-4 vote. The judge overseeing the case, Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy, sided with the prosecutors. This means that the 12-person jury a part of Melly's case no longer needs to unanimously agree to give him the death penalty. As XXL noted, Melly will be one of the first people tried under this new rule. The law was signed into effect by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in April as a response to a verdict that spared the life of the Parkland shooter.Florida is now one of three states that do not require unanimity for the death penalty.

Melly may face the death penalty for a murder case he was arrested and charged for back in 2019. Previously, TMZ reported that the State of Florida is seeking out the death penalty for the rapper in regards to two counts of first-degree murder he's facing. The charges stem from prosecutors claiming that Melly and his co-defendant YNW Bortlen killed two members of their own YNW crew in South Florida in October, and staged their deaths to look like a drive-by shooting.

"...the State says it believes it can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Melly killed his friends for financial gain, the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, and he committed homicide in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner. The State also believes Melly is a criminal gang member," TMZ reported.

The report has since been confirmed by Pitchfork.

Before Melly surrendered himself to police, he posted a photo to Instagram with a caption suggesting he was falsely accused.

"I am turning myself in today I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all," he wrote, adding, "a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice.. unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother @ynw.bortlen."


Editor's Note: This was story was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness