YNW Melly’s ‘Murder on My Mind’ lyrics may find their way into his retrial. Judge yet to rule

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The lyrics to YNW Melly’s hit track “Murder on My Mind” could not possibly be a confession to the murders of his friends YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser, but it sure sounds like one.

“I didn’t even mean to shoot him … shot him twice … His body dropped down to the floor, and he got teardrops in his eyes. He grabbed me by my hands and said he was afraid to die. I told him, ‘It’s too late, my friend, it’s time to say goodbye.’ And died inside my arms, blood all on my shirt.”

The song was released in March 2017, 19 months before investigators say Jamell “Melly” Demons shot and killed two childhood friends, Christopher “Juvy” Thomas and Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams, after a late-night recording session in Fort Lauderdale.

Prosecutors are asking Broward Circuit Judge John J. Murphy for permission to cite Melly’s lyrics at his upcoming retrial, which is expected to begin in February. The lyrics of 55 songs are included on a list that state prosecutors submitted as potential evidence in the case. With titles like “Melly the Menace,” “Homicide,” and “Free Melly,” the songs may provide some insight into Demons’ mindset before and after the shootings, or possibly his consciousness of guilt, prosecutors argued.

Defense lawyers say they are irrelevant to the central question in the case, which is whether Demons was the shooter who gunned down the victims.

Demons was tried earlier this year, but a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. One juror said afterward that she was not convinced Demons would turn on his friends without warning as prosecutors alleged.

Murphy did not indicate when he would rule on the specific question of whether the lyrics will be admitted as evidence. They did not factor into the first trial.

The first trial was followed by legal turmoil — defense lawyers accused the lead detective on the case of misconduct, the lead prosecutor was replaced over the likelihood she would be called as a defense witness, and Demons was hit with additional criminal charges of witness tampering.

Demons’ friend, Cortlen “YNW Bortlen” Henry, was driving the Jeep in which Thomas and Williams were shot to death — he’s been charged with murder as a principal, although prosecutors believe Demons fired the fatal shots. Henry is also charged with being an accessory after the fact. Henry is the person who drove the victims to a Miramar hospital and originally told investigators his friends died in a drive-by shooting.

Henry is due to be tried separately after Demons’ case concludes.

Prosecutors presented evidence during the first trial suggesting that Demons was disputing with the victims over financial and creative credit for their music.

Rafael Olmeda can be reached at rolmeda@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4457.