Miramar Florida police say they have arrested and charged YNW Melly in connection with a double murder. He turned himself in to Florida authorities Wednesday.
The up-and-coming SoundCloud rapper from South Florida was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the October 2018 killings of two men who have been reported to have been close friends of Melly.
Also charged with two counts of first-degree murder is 20-year-old Cortlen Henry, the rapper known as YNW Bortlen.
The men that were killed last fall, Christopher Thomas Jr., 19, and Anthony Williams, 21, were also rappers or aspired to be. Thomas went by the stage name YNW Juvy.
Williams was known as YNW Sakchaser.
“Jamell Demons, a.k.a. YNW Melly & Cortlen Henry have been arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. The victims, Anthony Williams & Christopher Thomas Jr., were killed on 10/26/2018. The investigation, supported by forensic evidence, has concluded that Demons shot and killed Williams & Thomas Jr. and that Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting,” police tweeted.
Henry was arrested in Texas in January and transferred to Broward County Tuesday, Feb. 12 and held without bond for now. The Sun-Sentinel reported, that “no bond was set at Henry’s first court appearance Wednesday because both the state attorney and defense attorney were granted a 24-hour postponement to become more familiar with the case.”
According to reports from the time, Thomas and Williams were driven by someone to an area hospital’s ER and were pronounced deceased.
As was reported, Williams and Thomas had recently moved to Miramar, Florida from a nearby city and were said to be acquainted or perhaps close friends of Melly’s.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say YNW Melly is the Shooter in the Double Murder & ‘Staged’ it to Look Like a Drive-by
According to police, “on October 26, 2018, at 4:35 a.m., Cortlen Henry drove a 2018 Jeep Compass to Memorial Miramar Hospital’s emergency room entrance. The passengers inside the vehicle, Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr., both from Vero Beach, FL, had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the hospital.”
Police said that Henry provided them with a “statement …however, the facts during the preliminary investigation did not match what was presented to detectives.”
Police now say that based on “further investigation, supported by forensic evidence,” they determined that Demons aka Melly, “shot and killed Williams and Thomas Jr. and that Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.”
Melly wrote on his Instagram the day after the killings, “They Took My Brothers From Me Over Jealousy 💔💔 I know y’all watching over me 🙏🏾🌍 it’s #ynw4l @ynwsakchaser1 @ynwjuvy for Life and after 🙏🏾❤️, they wanna see me break down and stop or in jail or a box but my niggas still need me they parents need me they family need me till we meet again my twins my slimes 🐍 💔 #thankyouallforyourprayers.”
2. Melly Spoke to His Fans on Instagram Saying ‘The System Wants to Find Justice’ But There’s ‘A Lot of Rumors & Lies’
“To all my fans and supporters no I did not get locked up in Washington , but I am turning myself in today I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all, 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 and we want y’all to remember it’s a ynw Family I love you @ynwsakchaser1 and @ynwjuvy #freeus”
And this is Henry’s or YNW Bortlen’s last IG before he was arrested in Houston.
The comments here say it all.
3. YNW Bortlen & YNW Melly Are Facing Life in Prison
Records show Henry aka YNW Bortlen is charged with two counts of premeditated murder or murder in the first degree. He is also charged with two counts of being an “accessory after the fact.”
According to Miramar Police, Demons, or YNW Melly, is facing two charges of premeditated murder. His booking photo has not yet been uploaded to the jail website.
For a charge of first-degree murder, based on a premeditated killing, a prosecutor must show the defendant’s intent to kill and must establish there was an advance plan; in premeditation, the prosecutor needs to show steps were taken to prepare for the killing.
Two months before the October murders, YNW Melly released ‘Murder on my Mind’ which has been viewed 90 million times on YouTube.
He also recorded ‘Mixed Personalities’ last month featuring Kanye.
4. Melly Recorded His First Track in 8th Grade
Facing a was Born Jamell Maurice Demons in Gifford, Florida in 1999. He’s a rapper, singer, and songwriter.
In an interview with Fader, he said, he first recorded a song when he was in middle school. He used a “microphone held up by coat hanger with a wave cap over it to condense his voice.” He went on to post tracks on Facebook and other social media and then began uploading to SoundCloud, not unlike a lot of other SoFlo rappers. Fader described his style as “bouncy freestyles that showed a noticeable Young Thug influence.
Melly is signed to Young Thug’s YSL Records and 300 Entertainment.
He’s supposed to be on tour but is instead in a Florida jail.
5. Melly Was Jailed on Weapons Charge Related to a Shooting at Age 16
In 2015, according to a news report from the time, Demons, 16, allegedly fired a gun at three people near Vero Beach High School. No one was hurt. He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of discharging a firearm in public.
According to reports, he told police where to find the gun and officers received a semi-automatic weapon. He was incarcerated at the Juvenile Justice Center in Fort Pierce.