Rapper YNW Melly charged with murder faces death penalty

Pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in March.

By Carli Teproff and Madeleine Marr / Miami Herald

MIAMI — YNW Melly, the Florida rapper who remains behind bars in the Broward County Jail on double murder charges, is facing the death penalty, court records show.

In February, Miramar police said the rapper, whose real name is Jamell Demons, and Cortlen Henry were responsible for the shooting deaths of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr. in October.

Demons pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in March.

On April 18, the state filed a “notice of intent to seek death penalty.” TMZ first reported the state’s intention early Monday.

In the document, the state says it can prove that Demons killed the two men for “pecuniary gain” and the crime was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.”

Miramar police at the time of the arrest said Demons and Henry “staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.”

Williams, who went by YNW Sak, and Thomas Jr., who went by YNW Juvy, aspiring rappers from Vero Beach, were brought to Memorial Miramar Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds just before 4:30 a.m. Oct. 26. The men died from their injuries. At the time, police did not identify the driver of the Jeep Compass that the wounded men showed up in.

But in February, police said it was Henry who drove the Jeep. They said the investigation led them to Henry and Demons.

Prior to being charged with murder, YNW Melly, who was set to go on tour only days after his arrest, was arrested in central Florida on drug charges.

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