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Florida rapper charged with two counts of murder faces the death penalty, records show

YNW Melly
YNW Melly Lee County Sheriff's Office/Miami Herald file

YNW Melly, the Florida rapper who remains behind bars in the Broward County Jail on double murder charges, is facing the death penalty, court records show.

In February, Miramar police said the rapper, whose real name is Jamell Demons, and Cortlen Henry were responsible for the shooting deaths of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr. in October.

Demons pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in March.

On April 18, the state filed a “notice of intent to seek death penalty.” TMZ first reported the state’s intention early Monday.

In the document, the state says it can prove that Demons killed the two men for “pecuniary gain” and the crime was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.”

Miramar police at the time of the their arrest said Demons and Henry “staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.”

Williams, who went by YNW Sak, and Thomas Jr., who went by YNW Juvy, aspiring rappers from Vero Beach, were brought to Memorial Miramar Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds just before 4:30 a.m. Oct. 26. The men died from their injuries. At the time, police did not identify the driver of the Jeep Compass that the wounded men showed up in.

But in February, police said it was Henry who drove the Jeep. They said the investigation led them to Henry and Demons.

Prior to being charged with murder, YNW Melly, who was set to go on tour only days after his arrest, was arrested in central Florida on drug charges.

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Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
Celebrity/real time news reporter Madeleine Marr has been with The Miami Herald since 2003. She has covered such features as travel, fashion and food. In 2007, she helped launch the newspaper’s daily People Page, attending red carpet events, awards ceremonies and press junkets; interviewing some of the biggest names in show business; and hosting her own online show. She is originally from New York City and has two daughters.