YNW Melly's Alleged Accomplice YNW Bortlen Released on $75,000 Bond

YNW Bortlen, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of accessory after the fact, was granted a $75,000 bond by a judge.

YNW Melly

Image via Getty/Jerritt Clark

YNW Melly

UPDATED 6/29, 11 a.m. ET: YNW Bortlen was officially released on the previously agreed upon $75,000 bond, according to court documents filed on June 25.

YNW Melly is still scheduled to appear in court this Thursday, July 2.

See original story below.

YNW Bortlen, an associate of YNW Melly who is charged in the same Broward County, Florida double murder that is keeping the "Mixed Personalities" rapper behind bars, was ordered released on bond on Saturday. The decision follows a hearing the day prior. 

According to attorney John M. Phillips, who represents the family of one of the victims, Christopher "YNW Juvy" Thomas, Jr., Melly will remain behind bars until trial.

Bortlen was charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of accessory after the fact for allegedly working with Melly to kill their crew members YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser. Bortlen will be granted release once he puts up collateral worth "in excess of ninety thousand dollars," according to legal documents obtained by Complex.

He will then be under house arrest, and subject to GPS tracking. Phillips made a statement about the case on Twitter, stating, "The victim’s family understands the release but does not agree with it. They hope for full justice and safety of all witnesses."

Update: Jamell Demons aka @YNWMelly’s co-defendant Cortlen Henry aka @YNWBortlen was granted bond and house arrest. Melly remains in jail until trial. The victim’s family understands the release but does not agree with it. They hope for full justice and safety of all witnesses. pic.twitter.com/JDVNK6TTAW

— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) May 24, 2020

The judge handed down the decision via a Zoom hearing. Bortlen has also been ordered to avoid contact with Melly or any other YNW affiliates. His next court date has been set for July 2.

Born Cortlen Henry, YNW Bortlen was arrested in Houston in January 2019 for his alleged involvement in the murder of Christopher "Juvy" Thomas Jr. and Anthony "Sak" Williams. Bortlen and YNW Melly were both charged with two counts of first-degree murder the following month. 

Following the October 26 incident, YNW Bortlen allegedly drove Thomas and Williams to an emergency room in the early morning hours, claiming their wounded friends were the victims of a drive-by shooting. The victims were pronounced dead upon their arrival. Bortlen alleges that they were driving back from a studio session when a car pulled up on the driver’s side of their vehicle and opened fire. 

While eight bullet holes were found on the right side of the vehicle where Williams and Thomas Jr. were seated at the time of the shooting, cops discovered a shell casing inside Henry’s car that matched eight other shell casings in a different location. Based on their findings, cops believe the first shot was fired from inside the car on the left rear passenger side. Surveillance footage of the four men leaving the studio also shows Melly entering the car from the left rear passenger side. 

"Evidence from the autopsy revealed that both victims' wound paths to their heads were from a left to right direction," court documents read. "This directly contradicts the statements made by Henry and do not support the statements of a drive-by shooting that occurred on the right side of the vehicle." 

YNW Melly, however, maintains his innocence, appearing in court with a smile on his face on more than one occasion, and claiming that he and Bortlen will be "home soon."

While incarcerated, Melly tested positive for coronavirus last month. His condition has reportedly worsened since then. 

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