Coronavirus appears to be getting some rappers out of jail, but YNW Melly may not be so lucky.
It has been almost 14 months since “Murder On My Mind” rapper YNW Melly was charged with orchestrating the murders of Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams and Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas Jr. The aspiring rappers had been close friends of Melly and appeared to have been killed in a drive-by shooting in October 2018. Authorities allege that Melly, along with fellow rapper, Cortlen “YNW Bortlen” Henry, arranged the hit, as well as the 2017 murder of an off-duty police officer in Indian River County.
Melly, whose birth name is Jamell Demons, pled not guilty to the murders of Williams and Thomas and is currently awaiting trial at Broward County Jail. News broke last week that the 20-year-old is one of the thousands in the United States who has tested positive for COVID-19 while incarcerated. The diagnosis has prompted Melly to file a motion for restricted release as, according to his attorney Bradford Cohen, “He still has headaches and body aches. Mr. Demons is 114 lbs. The jail is just ill prepared if his diagnosis takes a turn for the worse. They have not given them masks, or cleaning supplies that would be beneficial regarding his recovery.”
While the claims made in court papers may be true, the families of both Williams and Thomas feel Melly should stay behind bars, despite his current health situation. “We oppose release of Jamell Demons (YNW Melly),” stated Attorney John Phillips who represents the Thomas family in documents obtained by Complex. “We again ask the public to be sensitive of the victims here. They lost children…”
A similar sentiment was shared by the Williams family. “While our firm and the family of Anthony Williams’ sympathise with anyone affected by COVID-19, we do not believe this justifies pretrial release,” said the firm of Steinger, Greene & Feiner.
A judge recently allowed Tekashi 6ix9ine to serve out the last three and a half months of his prison sentence under house arrest as the rapper has asthma and is prone to respiratory infections.