Florida rapper YNW Melly is now at the mercy of a jury who have begun their deliberations concerning his charges of premeditated murder. The artist (real name Jamell Demons) is facing life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and could even be given the death penalty if found guilty of murder in the first degree.
Demons was arrested and charged in February 2019 and remained in jail with no chance of probation. Melly was charged with first-degree murder following the killing of his collaborators, YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy in 2018.
The murder occurred after a recording session outside a Florida studio. YNW Bortlen (real name Cortlen Henry) was in the car when the drive-by shooting took place and is believed to have set up the ambush of the deceased artists. He is thereby facing trial as a complicit party.
YNW Melly made headlines for his lack of remorse during the trial. Throughout the hearing, he goaded officials as the rapper smiled, laughed, and blew kisses in court. However, the jury was not present.
Witnesses in this case include Treveon Glass, a YNW collaborator who was with the rappers in a recording studio the night of the and Felicia Holmes, the mother of Demons’ then-girlfriend who spent a significant amount of time around the rapper prior to the murder.
The prosecution and defence presented their final closing arguments on July 20th and the verdict will be delivered by the jury. This is not Demons’ first brush with the law. In 2016, the emcee was convicted of battery, discharging a firearm in public, and assault which saw him serve less than a year in prison before getting released on parole.
While behind bars, he released an EP called Collect Call. Prior to his 2019 arrest, he released a mixtape which featured collaborations with Kanye West and others and has had several music videos directed by the iconic Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade. However, he will most likely never release music again as he faces a lengthy prison sentence or even death.