AceShowbiz - YNW Melly has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder after he was arrested for killing his best friends. Broward State Attorney's Office confirmed the news on Tuesday, March 5. Meanwhile, his co-defendant Cortlen Henry (a.k.a. YNW Bortlen) has an arraignment scheduled for March 11.
Melly's lawyer Bradford Cohen refused to comment on the matter.
Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder charges on February 13. According to Miramar Police, he and Bortlen were responsible for the death of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr. last year. Both of the victims were their best friends.
Police stated that Melly and Bortlen conspired to make it seem like Williams and Thomas Jr. were killed in a drive-by shooting. Authorities added that they believed Bortlen was the one who drove the jeep while Melly shot the two men, though they didn't note what precipitated the shooting.
Last week, the state of Florida additionally highlighted suspicious Snapchat messages Melly sent to his girlfriend two weeks after the shooting. The message read, "Dis n***a saved my life he coming everywhere wit me cuz of dem crackers come grab him it's my fault u forgot? I keep Bortlen wit me kuz at da end of the day he did one of a realist s**t in my life."
Williams and Thomas Jr., who were also known as YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy respectively, were killed in October 2018. Shortly after the news of their death broke, Melly's lawyer Cohen stated that his client was mourning. "He's sad, he's upset, obviously. Those were his best friends," he said at the time.
Both victims were featured prominently in Melly's YouTube documentary. At the end of the clip, on-screen text noted that four days after the film was completed, "YNW Melly and his friends were the target of a drive-by shooting in Miami, Florida. YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser were killed."