YNW Melly Murder Case: Judge Declares Mistrial After Jury Couldn’t Come to Decision

YNW Melly's double murder case was declared a mistrial after the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on whether the rapper was guilty.

YNW Melly in court
Image via Getty/Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service
YNW Melly in court

YNW Melly's double murder case has been declared a mistrial after the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on if the 24-year-old rapper was guilty or not guilty. Melly, who was facing two first-degree murder charges, pleaded not guilty.

Word that the jury was having difficulty coming to an agreement on whether or not Melly was guilty came on Friday when the jury’s foreperson indicated just that. “Everyone is stuck on which side they have chosen,” the foreperson wrote on Friday, Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy said, per WPLG.

The mistrial announcement arrived after 19 days of arguments and a little over 14 hours of deliberation from the jury. According to Law & Crime Network's Cathy Russon, a status hearing has been set for Friday, July 28.

What happens now that a mistrial has been declared in the case?

The state will have to decide whether to retry the case. If they do, the new trial will consist of an entirely new jury. If that does happen and he’s eventually found guilty, Melly, real name Jamel Demons, could face life in prison. The state has 90 days to announce its intention to retry the case. If they don't, Melly's team will request to have the charges dropped.

Twitter: @cathyrusson

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Twitter: @cathyrusson

On Thursday, prosecutors gave their closing arguments in the case, which will see YNW Bortlen tried separately. Speaking in court, prosecutor Kristine Bradley criticized many of the methods utilized by the defense during trial proceedings.

“Let’s be clear, calling someone a kid—anything like that—is a play on your sympathy,’ Bradley said. “Ladies and gentlemen, you agreed when we sat down for jury selection that sympathy would not come into play, that you would look and base this on the facts and the evidence. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that you have evidence.”

Deliberations began at around 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning.

View this video on YouTube

During the course of the trial, which centered on the fatal 2018 shootings of YWN Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, Melly's in-court behavior received extensive coverage. In June, for example, Juvy’s mother, Leondra Phillips, addressed viral footage of Melly striking a prayer pose and appearing to blow a kiss in court.

Speaking with WTVJ, Phillips questioned whether Melly was taking the trial seriously.

“Because you sitting over there like you don’t got no remorse,” she said at the time. “Like, every time I walk in, you smiling.”

Also in June, Melly’s motion for a mistrial was denied.

Latest in Music