YNW Melly's Defense Has Just Rested –– Jury Heard Confession Texts

Embattled rapper YNW Melly has been accused of murder and things aren't looking good for him. Did he confess? Find out more about his trial here.

Olivia Hebert - Author

Jul. 19 2023, Published 10:37 p.m. ET

YNW Melly in a blue jacket holding a diamond chain.
Source: Twitter/@YNWMelly

Embattled rapper YNW Melly, also known as Jamell Maurice Demons, has been accused of murder and things aren't looking good for him. His double-murder trial resumed the week of July 17, 2023, after an extended break.

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Best known for his songs "Murder on My Mind," "Mixed Personalities," "Suicidal," and "223's," the rapper was charged with murdering his two friends, Anthony D'Andre Williams and Christopher Jermaine Thomas Jr. in October 2018.

Did he confess during his trial? Find out more about the trial below.

Why was YNW Melly accused of murder and did he confess?

YNW Melly in a green jacket and black Givenchy hat.
Source: Getty Images

The SoundCloud breakout and Kanye West collaborator was arrested in February 2019 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. According to the police, he and another rapper, YNW Bortlen, killed two of their friends and staged the crime scene to look like a drive-by shooting.

YNW Melly went on trial in Florida in June 2023 and pleaded his innocence on all charges. The rapper may face the death penalty if he's found guilty of first-degree murder.

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Before his arrest, YNW Melly and South Florida released, "We All Shine," which was a mixtape featuring Kanye West. YNW Melly's biggest hit, the chilling 2017 single “Murder on My Mind,” had just gone gold. By January 2022, it had been certified six times multi-platinum.

Throughout his career, he contended with legal troubles.

In May 2017, YNW Melly wrote on Facebook: “I apologize to all my fans ... I’ll be locked up in level 6 program for 6 months I was sentenced on my 18th birthday MAY 1st 2017 due to negative music 🖤 Just know I did it for y’all I’ll be back shortly 🏆💰🌎”

He added, on June 23, 2017, “Turning myself in today.”

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On October 26, 2018, YNW Juvy, aka Christopher Thomas Jr., and YNW Sakchaser, aka Anthony Williams, were shot and killed. The pair arrived at Memorial Hospital Miramar around 4:35 a.m. “with multiple gunshot wounds.”

According to a police spokesperson, both men were already dead when they arrived at the hospital.

YNW Melly mourned on his social media accounts. “They took my brothers from me over jealousy,” he wrote. YNW Melly added that the killers “want to see [him] break down and stop or in jail or a box.”

Shortly, before his 2019 arrest, YNW Melly alleged to Billboard that prosecutors had used “Murder on My Mind” against him.

“Basically, I was on probation [in 2017],” he said. “I’m off that now. I put out ‘Murder on My Mind.’ It was out for about seven months, but I was in and out of jail at that point. I probably went to jail at least six or seven times then. It was just for little s--t too.”

Was YNW Melly found guilty?

As of Day 15 of the trial, YNW Melly hasn't been found guilty.

The defense begins cross-examination after YNW Melly's murder "confession" texts were read during the court trial. The evidence was damning and definitely swayed the jury. Since beginning in June, the trial has been a rollercoaster.

During the third day of proceedings, YNW Melly blew a kiss at people seated in the gallery. Thomas Jr.’s mother, Leondra Phillips, told NBC Miami that the act was “disrespectful.”

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