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The defense has begun its cross-examination of the lead detective in the trial of Jamell “YNW Melly” Demons, the rapper accused of shooting two of his closest friends to death in 2018 and then staging it to look like a drive-by shooting.
Miramar Police Detective Mark Moretti was on the stand most of Monday and Tuesday last week, telling jurors about a string of text messages and private exchanges on social media between Demons, his mother, victim Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams and others.
In one of the final, potentially incriminating, posts shared with the jury, Demons allegedly told a gang-related ally “Shhh. I did that” when asked how he was holding up after the shooting.
Defense lawyers have contended from the start of the trial that investigators, led by Moretti, settled on Demons as a suspect in the murders of Williams and Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas because they wanted to take down a celebrity. The victims were shot in the passenger seats of a Jeep driven by Demons’ friend Cortland Henry. Prosecutors believe Demons was in the back seat behind the driver.
The victims and the suspect were longtime friends, and the defense has contended that Demons had no motive to violently end their lives. The text messages displayed in court show Demons and his friends were clashing over money and creative credit.
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