Defense asks judge to dismiss double murder case against YNW Melly
Defense lawyers in the YNW Melly double murder case are demanding a dismissal of the charges, accusing prosecutors of withholding incriminating information about their lead detective.
Over the summer, attorneys for the rapper, whose real name is Jamell Demons, filed a complaint against Miramar Police Detective Mark Moretti, accusing him of forcibly taking a cell phone belonging to Demons’ mother while he was questioning her in connection with the case at the Broward courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale in October 2022.
According to the defense, Moretti was outside his jurisdiction when he executed a search warrant for the phone, “willing to lie as to who served the search warrant” to cover his tracks, and “willing to conspire” with a Broward Sheriff’s deputy who was not in the room when the phone was seized.
That summary was based on a statement given by Assistant State Attorney Michele Boutros, who was in the room. According to Boutros, Moretti told Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Gorel to say he was in the room when the warrant was executed. “I can be if you needed me to be,” Gorel replied.
The exchange, Moretti later told prosecutors, was intended as a joke. In his official report on the incident, Moretti wrote that he was in the room with Demons’ mother (Jamie King), Boutros and King’s lawyer, Robert Trachman.
The search warrant identified King as the person being investigated for witness tampering. Investigators believed she was helping her son hide incriminating evidence in his murder case. Demons is accused of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of fellow rappers Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas and Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams.
King was never charged with witness tampering. The cell phone records included a host of text messages that were introduced at Demons’ trial, which ended in a hung jury. His retrial is scheduled to begin in October.
Demons is due in court Wednesday morning. The rapper faces the death penalty if convicted.