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YNW Melly Murder Trial Declared a Mistrial as Jury Deadlocks on Verdict

Prosecutors are expected to retry Jamell Demons on two counts of first-degree murder in Oct. 2018 slaying of two rappers

The double murder trial of rapper YNW Melly was declared a mistrial Saturday after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict after two days of deliberations.

The rapper born Jamell Demons was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the Oct. 2018 killings of fellow rappers Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas. Demons, who faced the death penalty if convicted, pleaded not guilty.

The nearly 20-day trial concluded Thursday in Broward County, Florida with closing arguments, after which jurors went into deliberations. On Friday, the jury told the judge that were unable to come to a decision, but the judge ordered them to continue deliberations. However, after another day passed without a verdict, the judge ultimately declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors are expected to retry the case with a new jury, the Associated Press reports.

According to a Feb. 2019 statement from the Miramar, Florida police, Demons and Cortlen Henry — who will be tried separately — conspired to make it seem like Williams and Thomas Jr. were killed during a drive-by shooting following a recording session. 

Prosecutors claimed, after being shot and killed by Demons, the bodies of Williams and Thomas were taken to an area near the Everglades, where Demons and Henry allegedly fired at Henry’s Jeep to make it look like a drive-by. Williams and Thomas were then driven to Memorial Hospital Miramar emergency room, where they were declared dead.


Demons’ defense team argued that Demons had no motive to kill Williams and Thomas, his “best friends,” and that the murder weapon was never recovered.

YNW Melly’s arrest came just a month after he released his latest project, We All Shine, in January 2019. “Mixed Personalities,” his collaboration with Kanye West, was his highest-profile song to date.

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