After 19 days of hearing arguments, Judge John Murphy declared a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision regarding YNW Melly’s double murder charges.
Jamell Demons, whose stage name is YNW Melly, is charged with two first-degree murders in the October 26, 2018 murders of 21-year-old Anthony Williams and 19-year-old Christopher Thomas in Miramar.
Closing arguments concluded on Thursday and the case went to the Broward jury, who spent two full days debating the outcome of the case. The trial began last month.
The jury asked the state and the judge to revisit some of the evidence, but after several hours and a lunch break, the jury was unable to reach a decision, forcing the judge to order a mistrial.
Demons, now 24, pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if found guilty.
The Demons, Williams and Thomas rode in a jeep driven by Cortland Henry, known as YNW Bortlen, after the Fort Lauderdale taping when the Demons fatally shot Williams and Thomas, prosecutors said. Henry is charged as an accomplice in the case, but will be tried separately.
Authorities said Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.
Prosecutors say the shooting was part of the gang’s actions, while defense lawyers say the motive is not credible because the Demons and the victims were close friends.
The defense insisted that the Demons were asleep at home at the time of the murders and argued that Henry was responsible.
Thomas was known by the stage name YNW Juvy and Williams was known as YNW Sakchaser. They were childhood friends of the Demons and part of the YNW collective.