On this date in 2023, the double murder trial of Jamell Demons aka YNW Melly began, with opening statements from the prosecution and the defense also given on the same day. Melly was charged and arrested for the premeditated murders in the first-degree of Anthony D’Andre Williams (YNW Sakchaser) and Christopher Jermaine Thomas Jr. (YNW Juvy).

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The case goes back to October 2018, when Demons and Cortlen Malik Henry (YNW Bortlen), allegedly shot and killed their fellow crew members YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but later claimed that the two were murdered in a drive-by shooting. Following a grand jury indictment of Demons and Henry for the murders, Demons and Henry were arrested on February 13, 2019 and charged with the premeditated first-degree murders of Williams and Thomas. Demons pleaded not guilty.

The trial gained national notoriety not just because Melly’s most notable single was called “Murder On My Mind”, but also if Melly is convicted of these murders, he could possibly face the death penalty. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a new non-unanimous death sentence law, in which the jury will only need to have at least eight out of twelve jurors agree to recommend the death penalty rather than it being unanimous.


On July 22, 2023, Judge John Murphy declared a mistrial after the jury remained deadlocked on the charges, with a 9-to-3 vote in favor of convicting Demons on the lesser offenses of manslaughter.

As of June 2024, there is no verdict in the YNW Melly case. The rapper’s retrial for the double murder of his associates is currently on hold due to an appeal filed by prosecutors concerning the admissibility of a documentary film as evidence. This appeal has caused an indefinite delay in the retrial proceedings. While Melly’s defense team has requested to move forward with the discovery phase of the trial, the judge has not yet ruled on this request pending the outcome of the appeal. The case remains ongoing, and it is unclear when the retrial will resume or when a verdict will be reached.

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