Prosecutors asked a Florida judge to admit evidence of alleged witness tampering in YNW Melly’s double murder retrial. According to the Miami Herald, new prosecutor Alixandra Buckelew wanted Judge John Murphy to rule on the state’s motion for admissibility before jurors get sworn in for the trial.
Earlier this month, YNW Melly was charged with witness tampering in connection to his first murder trial. Prosecutors claimed he displayed a consciousness of guilt, accusing the rapper and his associates of working to prevent his ex-girlfriend Mariah Hamilton from testifying in the original trial.
“The defendant went to great lengths to have others contact Mariah Hamilton for him,” the prosecution contended. “Because he was in jail and had his phone privileges taken away previously by BSO for numerous violations, he utilized fellow gang members to do his dirty work. Not only did he use his fellow gang member Terrence Mathis, who was in custody with him, he also utilized his co-defendant Cortlen Henry, who was out on pretrial release at the time, to be his messenger.”
Henry (a.k.a. YNW Bortlen) and Mathis were also charged with witness tampering. Henry was arrested while out on bond awaiting his own trial. Prosecutors said he was YNW Melly’s alleged accomplice in the 2018 murders of YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser.
YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, was tried for the murders over the summer. The trial ended with a hung jury.
Jury selection for YNW Melly’s retrial began on October 18. The process started after his lawyers successfully convinced Judge Murphy to remove former lead prosecutor Kristine Bradley from the double murder case.