A Florida judge has removed the death penalty option as a possible sentence for YNW Melly, who still remains behind bars on double homicide charges. XXL Magazine (via Complex) reports that the 23-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Jamell Maurice Demons, received the news Wednesday, July 6, during a preliminary hearing in Broward County.
His attorney confirmed the news to XXL, while his mother celebrated the decision via Instagram.
“I’m literally crying real tears,” Jamie Demons-King wrote. “You coming home son.”
Three years ago, Melly and his associate Cortlen “YNW Bortlen” Henry were arrested and each charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say the tewo men fatally shot their friends, 20-year-old Chris “YNW Juvy” Thomas Jr. and 21-year-old Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams, in October 2018.
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Melly and Bortlen are accused of killing the victims and then attempting to stage the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting. The former has pled not guilty to the first-degree murder charges in March 2019 and then would go on to address his arrest in a since-deleted Instagram post that same year.
“To all my fans and supporters, no I did not get locked up in Washington, but I am turning myself in today,” he wrote. “I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all, a couple of months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system wants 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.”
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Previously in June, prosecutors trying the case claimed that they’ve obtained evidence that shows that Melly commissioned an as-yet-to-be revealed person to commit a series of crimes. These included “narcotics trafficking, firearms violations, and authorizing the killing of his mother.” The rapper and his mom seemingly dismissed the claims on social media, while a story on Melly’s official Instagram account referenced “lies” and a “false agenda,” regarding the rumored hit.
His mother, Jamie Demons-King, shared a story on Instagram that simply read: “This is pure desperation.”
Melly’s murder trial is expected to begin later this year.