The single juror who held out from a "guilty" verdict in YNW Melly's double-murder trial is speaking out.
Juror number 7 says she believes the rapper was 'framed' for the murder of his two friends in 2018 and shared she was able to convince two other jurors to vote against convicting him, leading to a 9-3 deadlock.
"I believe that he didn't do it and it wasn't proved in court," said the anonymous juror to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in her first interview after jury deliberations ended. "This was really bad situation of being framed. Melly was a very good person. He always tried to help people out around him."
In October 2018, YNW Melly, born Jamell Demons, was accused of fatally shooting friends Christopher "YNW Juvy" Thomas and Anthony "YNW Sakchaser" Williams inside a car that was being driven by another friend Cortland "YNW Bortlen" Henry. Prosecutors claim that Demons and Henry then drove to an area near the Everglades to stage the murders as a drive-by shooting by firing at the back and passenger sides of Henry's Jeep from the outside.
"Between them leaving the recording studio and the phone pinging in the Everglades, anything could have happened," added the juror.
Despite prosecutors saying that ballistic tests show the deceased were shot from inside the Jeep but defense lawyers are focused on the absence of the murder weapon that was never recovered. The holdout juror believes that racial profiling may have played a role in the investigation as the Demons, Henry, and the victims are Black but the lead police investigator and lead prosecutor are white. "This was not a matter of fact but a matter of race," said the juror, who is Black.
"I wasn't there, but I believe he was being framed, based on the text messages," added the juror in reference to text messages that reportedly show Demons disputing with the victims over creative credit and compensation as a possible motive for their murder.
Last week, another juror provided some behind-the-scenes insight on the case with local outlet WPLG. “From day one, she had issues with the foreperson selected, at one point crossing her arms and saying she was ‘done!’" said the former juror to reporter Ian Margol. "When another juror asked to not shut down and set her feelings aside, she exploded ... She was explosive, manipulative, she was rude, she yelled insults at anyone who had a different opinion."
Juror number 7 was also alleged to have used "gay slurs" when responding to other members of the jury.
Demons is facing execution if convicted, and his retrial is set to begin soon. Despite rumors that YNW Melly was released on bail on Saturday (Sept. 2), journalist Bryson "Boom" Paul reports that the news is "false." A bond hearing is set for later this month with jury selection scheduled to begin on Oct. 9.