YNW Melly has requested the Florida courts to release him on bond as he awaits a retrial in a double-murder case, but the judge decided to withhold his decision until a later date.
NBC 6 was in a Broward County courtroom when the rapper (real name Jamell Demons) appeared before Judge John Murphy on Friday (September 15) to request his release on bond.
Leondra Phillips, the mother of one of YNW Melly’s alleged victims — Christopher Thomas aka YNW Juvy — appeared in the courtroom over Zoom to beseech the judge to deny the “Murder on My Mind” rapper’s request, as she feared for her safety.
“I don’t think he should receive a bond, he’s innocent until proven guilty but he has money and I don’t want anything to happen to me and my family, no bond please,” she said.
Ultimately, however, Murphy said that he would not rule on the decision at that moment, but would let both sides know of his decision “in the next few days.”
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) September 15, 2023
The hearing that YNW Melly had on Friday (September 15) was known as an Arthur hearing. Under the Florida statute, such a hearing is required for those accused of a capital felony who are requesting bond, as bail is not available for those who are accused of capital felonies.
Bail is granted when a judge orders a cash payment (either from the accused, or someone in their close circle) to be paid to the court, and which is refunded after the case concludes, provided the accused shows up to all of their mandated court appearances.
Bond, on the other hand, is when the accused must make a non-refundable payment to a bondsman, who then provides a surety to the court to ensure the accused’s appearance. Usually, bonds require some form of collateral be provided (such as a house) in the event of a default.
What’s more, the Arthur hearing that YNW Melly had consists of two parts: phase one (when the prosecutor presents evidence as to why bond shouldn’t be granted) and phase two (which is what took place on Friday (September 15), when the defense presents reasons as to why bond should be granted).
Meanwhile, according to the docket obtained by HipHopDX, there have been several other developments in the YNW Melly double murder trial.
In addition to the Arthur hearing, Melly’s lawyers have filed what’s known as a Brady hearing. In this hearing, Melly’s lawyers are demanding that the prosecutor produce evidence related to the DNA evidence obtained during the initial investigation.
This suggests, then, that the defense is trying to establish that the DNA evidence they have in their possession is exculpatory (evidence that tends to excuse, justify, or absolve the alleged fault or guilt of a defendant) as far as Melly is concerned.
Additionally, another hearing conference is scheduled for September 22, and the jury retrial is set to begin on October 7.
YNW Melly is being retried for the October 2018 double murder of his friends YNW Sakchaser (Anthony Williams) and YNW Juvy (Christopher Thomas Jr.) after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in last month’s trial.
Judge Murphy announced on July 22 that the case had ended in a mistrial, despite three days of deliberation. “These types of decisions, they’re hard decisions,” he said regarding the inconclusive finale.