Judge declares mistrial in YNW Melly double murder case – NBC Chicago

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 accusations.

Jamell Demons, whose stage name is YNW Melly, is facing two first-degree murder charges in the Oct. 26, 2018 killings of 21-year-old Anthony Williams and 19-year-old Christopher Thomas in South Florida.

Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday and the case was handed over to the Broward jury, who spent two full days deliberating on the outcome of this case. The trial began last month.

The jury did ask the state and the judge if they could review some of the evidence again but after a few hours and a lunch recess, the jury was unable to find a decision, forcing the judge to order a mistrial.

According to Cornell Law School, A mistrial occurs when a jury is unable to reach a verdict and there must be a new trial with a new jury or there is a serious procedural error or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial, and the judge adjourns the case without a decision on the merits and awards a new trial.

“Our system doesn’t work without getting people from the community to come in here and listen to the facts of the case and make decisions,” Murphy said.

Demons was all smiles after the judge sent the jury home. Before the jurors left, Murphy addressed them.

“You gave us the time and you put your best effort to see if you could bring this case to a resolution, unfortunately, it wasn’t able to happen but I want to thank you again for your time and consideration of the case,” Murphy said.

Demons, now 24, has pleaded not guilty and faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

Demons, Williams and Thomas were riding in a Jeep driven by Cortland Henry, known as YNW Bortlen, after a recording session in Fort Lauderdale when 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.

Broward Sheriff’s Office

Jamell Demons, whose stage name is YNW Melly

Prosecutors say the shooting was part of a gang action, while defense attorneys say the motive lacks credibility because Demons and the victims were close friends.

The defense insisted Demons was home sleeping at the time of the murders, and claim Henry is responsible.

Thomas went by the stage name YNW Juvy while Williams was known as YNW Sakchaser. They were childhood friends of Demons and part of the YNW collective.

Leondra Phillips, the mother of one of the victims, Christopher Thomas wrote on her Facebook after the mistrial was declared, “Lord I don’t know if I can’t take this.. my son is dead for no reason.”

The defense and state will come back next Friday to discuss how they’ll move forward with this case.

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