WATCH LIVE: Defense begins calling witnesses at rapper YNW Melly’s trial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. – Florida rapper YNW Melly’s defense team will begin calling their first witnesses on Tuesday.

Detective Mark Moretti was the last witness for the prosecution before the state rested Monday afternoon, on the 15th day of the Florida rapper’s murder trial in Broward County.

Moretti, a detective with the Miramar Police Department, framed Jamell “Melli” Demons for the murders of Christopher “Juvie” Thomas Jr. and Anthony “Succhaser” Williams over four years ago.

Attorney Stuart Adelstein, who is defending the Demons, spoke out against Moretti on Monday over what he said were gaps in his investigation into the murders of YNW Collective rappers on October 26, 2018.

The defense argued that Moretti did not do enough to get more CCTV footage of the case, did not question all possible suspects, and did not have another party to corroborate that day’s mobile phone data.

The prosecution cites a direct Instagram message following the fatal shooting to Peezy Gambino, who asked The Demons, “Are you okay?” The demons allegedly replied, “I did it.” He also added, “Shhh.”

Adelstein said that it couldn’t be Demons, as he usually writes “it” and not “it”. Assistant State’s Attorney Christine Bradley later gave several examples of the Demons using “it”.

The defense argued that because the rappers were sharing phones, Moretti couldn’t even know if Demons was the author of this response. He also said that the message was not written in the Demon style.

Moretti and Bradley accused the Demons of shooting Thomas and Williams inside Compass’s jeep, and he and his friend Cortlen “Bortlen” Henry of staging a drive-by shooting to cover up the murders.

If the jury finds Demon guilty, he could be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.



First week of trial: opening statements were June 12.

Second week of trial: Prosecution witnesses continue to testify

Third Week of Trial: Testimony Continues

court in recess

Fourth week of trial: testimony continues

Fifth week of trial: State rests, defense begins calling witnesses

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