YNW Melly‘s former jurors have started to speak out now that the rapper’s double murder trial was declared a mistrial, and apparently most of them believed he was guilty.
Judge John Murphy declared the mistrial on July 22. According to Law & Crime at the time, the jury deliberated until 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday July 21 before breaking for the evening. They resumed deliberations on Saturday at 8:52 a.m. ET.
While it’s unclear what went down in the deliberating room, one former juror told Florida outlet Local 10 News that it was one “manipulative” woman that convinced two other jurors to deem him not guilty, resulting in the 9-3 mistrial.
“From day one, she had issues with the foreperson selected, at one point crossing her arms and saying she was ‘Done!’ When another juror asked to not shut down and set her feelings aside, she exploded,” the anonymous juror claimed in an interview with the outlet.
“She was explosive, manipulative, she was rude, she yelled insults at anyone who had a different opinion…She was there to cause chaos.”
The agitated juror had reportedly said during voir dire (a preliminary examination of the jury pool by a judge or counsel) that she had previous experience with the legal system because of past family issues, but insisted to the judge that this would not cloud her ability to serve as an impartial juror.
The former juror went on to tell Local 10 News that on the last day of deliberation, the jury was 11-1 in favor of convicting YNW Melly for the murder of his two friends YNW Sakchaseer and YNW Juvy. However, the juror said the woman in question pulled two other jurors aside and spoke to them privately, convincing them to flip.
“Then, she came over and announced to the group that they had changed their minds, but when another juror asked why she was speaking for them, she exploded,” the former juror claimed, adding that the woman then allegedly hurled gay slurs at the man who questioned her.
“It’s something we’re never going to forget,” they said of the mistrial. “We were shaking at the end.”
The juror added that the claim made by Melly’s mother, in which Jamie Demons King said the mistrial meant nine people believed in her son’s innocence, was just not true.
“That’s just not true. I don’t want someone out there changing my vote,” the former juror said. “You tell a lie enough and it becomes the truth.”
Despite the recent mistrial, YNW Melly will soon be retired on the same charges on October 2.
According to the Fully Informed Jury Association, the defendant (in this case, YNW Melly) is neither acquitted nor convicted. Rather, in the eyes of the law, the trial “never happened.” Therefore, Fifth Amendment protections — which include the double jeopardy clause that prevents defendants from being retried for the same crime — do not apply.
“If a mistrial occurs due to a hung jury, the prosecutor may decide to retry the case. A judge may decide to disallow this in some cases, but the prosecutor is usually allowed to proceed,” reports the Fully Informed Jury Association.
While YNW Melly may go free as a result of this mistrial, it is not clear whether his attorney has made this type of motion to the court, as of yet.
The first-degree murder charges took four and a half years to process through the legal system. Melly was arrested back in 2019 for allegedly shooting and killing fellow YNW members Christopher Thomas Jr. (YNW Juvy) and Anthony Williams (YNW Sakchaser) in October 2018.