According to Billboard, A Florida appeals court ruled at a hearing Wednesday (November 9) that prosecutors could indeed seek the death penalty for Melly (real name Jamell Demons) if he is convicted of the murders of his two friends YNW Sakchaser (Anthony Williams) and YNW Juvy ( Christopher Thomas). Jr.) in October 2018.
Florida’s District Court of Appeal overturned Judge Andrew Siegel’s ruling from the summer, in which he said prosecutors could not use the death penalty against Melly because prosecutors “failed to give Melly and his attorneys proper notice that they planned to do so.”
The appeals court believes Melly and his legal team were given enough time since it floated the idea of the death penalty when the “Murder On My Mind” rapper was originally charged in 2019 that the prosecution did not violate state law.
“We find that the State complied with its statutory obligations when it filed its notice of intent to seek the death penalty within 45 days of arraignment,” Judge Spencer D. Levine wrote in reinstating the death penalty option. “The fact that the State filed a superseding indictment requiring a second prosecution is not prejudicial to the already filed and timely notice of intent. Notice is notice.”
It is only an interim ruling, as the death penalty provision is expected to be heard by the Florida Supreme Court later this year.
“[We] look forward to our opportunity to argue our case to the judges,” Melly’s attorney Phillip Horrowitz said. Billboard while admitting he was “disappointed with the verdict”.
YNW Melly has been behind bars without bond since she was arrested by Miramar police in February 2019 on double homicide charges.
“Jamell Demons, aka YNW Melly & Cortlen Henry have been arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder,” Miramar police wrote it on Twitter back then. “The victims, Anthony Williams and 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 look like a drive-by shooting.”
According to South Florida Sun Sentinel, Williams and Thomas Jr. suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were taken to Memorial Hospital Miramar at 4:35 a.m. where they died. The hospital is located about 20 miles outside of Fort Lauderdale.
YNW Melly pleaded not guilty and has maintained her innocence against the charges. He remains without an official trial date after it was again delayed in July.