Rapper YNW Melly is still very much alive in Broward County, Florida, despite a false rumor that the 20-year-old had been stabbed to death in prison. The hoax was circulated on a website that markets itself as a platform for people to commit pranks. But the article was shared widely on social media and appeared toward the top of Google search results, adding fuel to the speculation fire.
Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, has been behind bars since February of 2019 after he was accused in a double-murder. The case is still pending.
Records show that Melly is still registered as an inmate. Heavy reached out to the Broward County Sheriff’s media relations department for a comment. A public relations officer confirmed via email that Melly remained in custody at the BSO Main Jail.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Website That Hosted the Article Promotes Itself as a Pranking Platform
The most obvious clue that the YNW Melly death story was fake relates to the platform that hosted the article. It was created on a website called nsfnews.com. The home page of the site unequivocally states that it is meant to be a tool for people to use to play pranks on their friends. A screenshot of the home page is embedded above.
The top of the page states, “Write an article and prank your friends for fun. Bullying is forbidden.” The “about” section further reiterates that anything posted on the site should be interpreted as a joke: “This website is an entertainment website, jokes are created by users. These are humourous jokes, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.”
2. The Fake Article Misspelled YNW Melly’s Real Name & Cited No Sources
The article that claimed that Jamell Demons aka YNW Melly had been stabbed in a “gang-related incident” while behind bars contains clear clues that it was a fake.
The author misspelled the rapper’s legal name as “Jamall.” The writer also cited “authorities” as having been the source of the information but did not provide any specifics about which agency they claimed to be sourcing.
As of December 10, the fake article stated that Melly was in critical condition rather than dead. It has been shared more than 71,000 times.
3. YNW Melly’s Mother Has Confirmed That He Was Not Injured
YNW Melly’s mother, Jamie Demons-King, took to Instagram to confirm that her son is alive and well. She shared a video on December 9 reassuring fans that Melly had not been injured, despite the fake claim.
“Melly is fine. I just talked to him this morning. He has not been injured whatsoever. He’s fine. He’s in great spirits. He’ll be home soon.”
4. A Post Was Shared On YNW Melly’s Instagram Stories to Debunk the Death Claim
YNM Melly aka Jamell Demons still has an active Instagram account despite being behind bars. The person running the account posted an image in “Stories” on December 9 to dispute the rumor that the rapper had died in prison. The image shows a headline claiming that Melly had been stabbed by his cellmate, with the words “Fake News” in bold type below.
On Monday, the person running the Instagram account also posted a tribute to Jarad Higgins, otherwise known as rapper Juice Wrld. The musician suffered cardiac arrest and died on December 8 at the age of 21. Melly’s account manager posted a portion of his song “Suicidal” that he had reportedly planned to remix with Higgins. The caption said, “Rest In Peace @juicewrld999. Legend gone to soon.”
5. Jamell Demons Is Charged In the Shooting Deaths of Two Men
Jamell Demons was arrested on February 13, 2019, and has been behind bars since that day. Broward County Sheriff’s Office records show that he is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Miramar Police say that “forensic evidence” led investigators to the conclusion that Demons shot and killed Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr. in October of 2018. Police say Demons and an accomplice, Cortlen Henry, staged the scene to make it look like a drive-by shooting.
Demons has pleaded not guilty. Court records show that he is being held without bond. The next hearing in the case was scheduled for December 19, 2019, but the record does not specify whether Demons will appear before a judge or if the hearing will include attorneys only.