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YouTube Video Screenshot of YNW Melly During an Interview

Is YNW Melly Beating His Case Due to a Mistrial? Judge’s Warning to Jury Explained

The trial of rapper YNW Melly, who is accused of killing two of his friends in 2018, has reached a critical point. The jury, which began deliberating on Wednesday, has not been able to reach a unanimous verdict after two days of discussions. The judge, John Murphy, asked them to go back and try one more time on Friday. If they still can’t agree, he will declare a mistrial, but does that mean YNW Melly could walk free?

Who is YNW Melly and What is He Charged With?

YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, is a 24-year-old rapper from Florida who rose to fame with his hit song “Murder on My Mind” in 2017. He also collaborated with Kanye West on the song “Mixed Personalities” in 2019.

He is facing two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr., who were also rappers and part of the YNW collective. They went by the stage names YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy.

According to prosecutors, Demons shot and killed Williams and Thomas on October 26, 2018, after leaving a recording studio in Fort Lauderdale. He then enlisted the help of another friend, Cortlen Henry, known as YNW Bortlen, to stage a fake drive-by shooting and drive the bodies to a hospital.

Henry is also charged as an accomplice, and will be tried separately.

What is the evidence against YNW Melly?

The prosecution’s case relies mainly on physical and forensic evidence, such as bullet casings, DNA, cell phone records and surveillance footage.

They claim that the bullet casings found inside Henry’s Jeep matched the ones found at the scene where they allegedly shot at the vehicle to make it look like a drive-by. However, there was a report that came out claiming that Demons’ DNA was found on one of the victims’ jackets, but not found on the Jeep the shooting took place in.

Is YNW Melly Beating His Case Due to a Mistrial? Judge's Warning to Jury Explained
YNW Melly’s DNA Allegedly Not Found on Jeep

The prosecution also presented cell phone records that showed that Demons and Henry were in contact before and after the shooting, and that they lied about their whereabouts to the police.

Additionally, they showed surveillance footage from the recording studio that captured Demons holding a gun in his hand before leaving with Williams and Thomas.

What is the Defense’s Argument?

The defense’s strategy is to cast doubt on the prosecution’s evidence and motive, and to highlight the inconsistencies and contradictions in their witnesses’ testimonies.

They argue that the bullet casings found inside Henry’s Jeep could have been there from previous shootings, and that Demons’ DNA could have been transferred from other items or contact. They also question the reliability of the cell phone records and the surveillance footage, saying that they do not prove that Demons shot anyone.

The defense also challenges the prosecution’s theory that Demons killed Williams and Thomas as part of a gang-related dispute or rivalry. They say that Demons and the victims were close friends who grew up together and had no reason to harm each other.

They suggest that Williams and Thomas were actually killed by unknown assailants who targeted them because of their fame and wealth.

What Happens if YNW Melly’s Case is Deemed a Mistrial? Will He Walk Free?

The jury, which consists of six men and six women, has been sequestered since Wednesday. They have asked several questions to the judge during their deliberations, such as clarifying the definition of reasonable doubt and requesting to see some of the evidence again.

On Friday morning, they sent a note to the judge saying that they were deadlocked and could not reach a verdict. The judge instructed them to go back to the jury room and try to resolve their differences. He said that he would declare a mistrial if they still could not agree by the end of the day.

A mistrial means that the trial ends without a verdict, and that the prosecution can decide whether to retry the case or not. If they do retry it, they will have to start from scratch with a new jury.

A verdict, on the other hand, means that the jury has reached a unanimous decision of either guilty or not guilty on each count. If they find Demons guilty of first-degree murder, he could face life in prison or even the death penalty. If they find him not guilty, he will be acquitted and released.

Essentially, even if the case is deemed a mistrial, it doesn’t necessarily mean that YNW Melly will walk free, because it could go back to trial eventually.

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