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Rapper YNW Melly at Risk of Getting Death Penalty for Best Friend Murder Case

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Rapper YNW Melly at Risk of Getting Death Penalty for Best Friend Murder Case
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Prosecutors are seeking death penalty against the Florida rap artist, who has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the October shooting of his two friends.

AceShowbiz
YNW Melly is facing potential death penalty for the murder of his two friends. Florida state prosecutors made clear of their intent to seek death penalty against the Florida rapper in a notice filed last week.

The 19-year-old rap artist, whose real name is Jamell Maurice Demons, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the October shooting deaths of two friends, Christopher Thomas Jr. and Anthony Williams, in Miramar, Florida. He and his friend Cortlen Henry, 20, who has also been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, shot the victims in the head, torso and back.

The pair allegedly covered up the crime and tried to make the shooting appear to be a drive-by. They dropped the victims off at the ER, where they were pronounced dead. Melly gave a statement to police after the shooting, but authorities found out that the information he gave them did not match the result of their investigation.

“Further investigation, supported by forensic evidence, concluded that Demons shot and killed Williams and Thomas Jr., and that Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting,” police said in February.

By state law, first-degree murder is punishable either by death or life without parole for suspects at least 18 years old at the time of the offense. In seeking death penalty against Melly, prosecutors have taken into account “a number of aggravating factors,” arguing that the killings were “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel,” “committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification” and “committed by a criminal gang member.”

As for a possible motive, prosecutors intend to prove that the shootings were committed for monetary gain.

Melly, Henry and the two victims were lifelong friends who grew up together in the Vero Beach area. The four were members of the same rap group. Thomas went by the stage name YNW Juvy, Williams went by the name YNW Sakchaser, and Henry is also known as YNW Bortlen.

Henry was also charged with two counts of accessory for staging the murders to look like a drive-by shooting. His attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charges in March. Prosecutors have not filed a notice seeking for death penalty against Henry.