YNW Melly‘s mother, Jamie King, has revealed that she’s heartbroken that her son won’t face a jury of his peers until 2024.
The Miami Herald is reporting that Judge John Murphy ruled that prosecutors will need more time to prepare for the Florida rapper’s double murder retrial; so opening arguments won’t begin until February 5, 2024.
The motion filed by Assistant State Attorneys Alixandra Buckelew, Taylor Collins, and Justin Griffis claimed that their workload is heavier than they realized, in part due to the recusal of Kristina Bradley, and in part due to additional witness tampering charges brought against the “Murder on My Mind” rapper and his co-defendant, YNW Bortlen. As such, they argued, they needed more time to prepare — and Judge Murphy agreed.
Unfortunately, however, this means that YNW Melly will have to remain behind bars until then — and his mother was devastated about the thought. “I’m sorry, kid [teary eyed emoji][broken heart emoji]” she wrote on her Instagram Stories on Tuesday (November 14). Check out the post below.
YNW Melly’s mother reacts to double murder retrial being delayed to 2024 pic.twitter.com/9JdgjTjyY5
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) November 15, 2023
The delay comes just six days after the court granted the defense’s motion to have the jury struck down thanks to a legal misstep by the state — a move that was met with strong consternation by the prosecution.
In a memorandum of law filed on Wednesday (November 8) and obtained by HipHopDX, Assistant State Attorney Alexandra Bucklew stated that she, on behalf of the state of Florida, objected to the dismissal of the jury during the voir dire process due to the defense’s claim of an improper line of questioning — a seemingly minor misstep that resulted in the entire jury being dismissed at the defense’s request, and a request which was agreed to by Judge John Murphy.
What’s more, Bucklew remarked that the state of Florida was afraid of being unduly prejudiced if, indeed, the defense continued to raise objections about the empaneled jurors.
“The State fears that every time the State objects and the objection is sustained, the Defense will move to start over because it ‘affects their credibility with the jurors,’” she wrote in part.
Last month, Melly, his co-defendant YNW Bortlen and a third person, Terrence Mathis, were charged with directing the activities of a criminal gang and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, as well as solicitation and conspiracy to commit tampering.
These are in addition to the original count of tampering with a witness in a capital felony that Melly (real name Jamell Demons) and Bortlen (real name Cortlen Henry) were charged with earlier this month, relating to the 2018 murders of YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser.
Mathis is an inmate at Broward County Jail who allegedly helped Melly contact Bortlen, who was out on bond at the time of the alleged tampering.
The state claims Bortlen and Mathis assisted Melly in his efforts to convince his ex-girlfriend, Mariah Hamilton, and her mother, Felicia Holmes, to not testify in his first double murder trial.
An affidavit revealed Bortlen and Mathis had 60 different phone calls between March and August 2023, in which they used various coded language — including references to Rihanna — to allegedly hide their intentions.
YNW Melly is accused of conspiring with YNW Bortlen in October 2018 to kill their two friends, YNW Juvy (Christopher Thomas Jr.) and YNW Sakchaser (Anthony Williams), and stage their deaths as a drive-by shooting.
If YNW Melly is convicted, he could face the death penalty.
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