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YNW Melly Denied Mistrial In Double-Murder Case

Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy disagreed with Jamell “Melly” Demons’s defense attorneys’ claim that the prosecution had “tainted” the jury.

Also, the court also announced that witness testimony couldn’t proceed since a juror remained hospitalized after suffering dehydration.

Demons could face the death penalty if convicted of the murders of Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr., and Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams, two of his fellow YNW Collective rappers, on Oct. 26, 2018.

Prosecutors accused Demons of shooting Thomas, 19, and Williams, 21, when he was 19 years old and they were all in a Jeep in Miramar after leaving a recording studio in Fort Lauderdale.

The defense’s motion on Thursday centered around the testimony of Felicia Holmes, a registered nurse whose daughter Mariah Hamilton, now 22, was in a relationship with Demons.

Defense Attorney David Howard said there had been a “prejudicial fiasco” in court, and he accused Assistant State Attorney Kristine Bradley of calling Holmes to read out-of-court statements despite a court’s ruling against it.

“This jury sat there and watched this fiasco unfold with at least 10, maybe 15 sidebars, after every two questions,” Howard said adding that the “highly prejudicial” testimony had “tainted” the jury.

Howard asked the judge to strike evidence that couldn’t be verified, but Murphy told him to instead submit a motion in writing.

Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, is accused of gunning down his childhood friends Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr., in an alleged drive-by cover up after spending the night of Oct. 26, 2018, at a Fort Lauderdale recording studio.

Confidant Cortlen Henry, known as YNW Bortlen, was also arrested and charged with the murders.

Williams and Thomas, both aspiring rappers with the YNW collective, were known as YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, respectively.

The 24-year-old’s case is among the first being considered after Gov. Florida Ron DeSantis signed a law to lower the threshold for a death sentence to an 8-4 vote.

If the judge had declared a mistrial, that doesn’t mean a defendant is found innocent. Mistrials usually occur after a jury is unable to reach a verdict or if there was misconduct or a serious error that could lead to an unfair trial.

If a judge declares a mistrial, prosecutors may pursue a new trial within 90 days of the original trial, in most cases.

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Written by Rene Harris