YNW Melly is currently locked up, awaiting a second trial for the murders of his crew mates YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, after an earlier trial ended with a hung jury. But on Tuesday, his legal team made an attempt to prevent upcoming witnesses from telling the jury about a particular motive in the alleged killing: money disputes.
First spotted by AllHipHop, attorneys for the “Money on my Mind” rapper filed a motion asking Judge John J. Murphy III to bar testimony from any witnesses in the upcoming retrial who suggest that “there was an agreement between Jamell Demons [YNW Melly] and Anthony Williams [YNW Sakchaser] to share or split all of the money that Mr. Demons made through his musical pursuits.”
Melly’s side says that they suspect Florida prosecutor Kristine Bradley will present a witness who will argue just that. They say that before testimony on that topic should be allowed, there should be proof.
“Unless the State can present a signed contract or agreement; a verbal acknowledgement by Mr. Demons that he owed that money to Mr. Williams; or correspondence by Mr. Demons that he owed Mr. Williams this money, any reference to it would be pure hearsay and conjecture,” the motion reads.
Melly’s team has good reason for believing that money will be presented as a possible motive for the killings. Both Sakchaser’s mother and the case’s lead detective Mark Moretti said in depositions that they believed Sakchaser was set to receive a $200,000 payment before his death. Jana Thompson, Sakchaser’s mother, remembered that just a few days before the killings, her son was extremely worried about finances.
“My son hysterically called me,” she said. “[H]e was very concerned about my whereabouts … He’s concerned, like something is going to happen to us. And he told me that he would not get his money. He said: ‘I’m probably not going to get my $200,000. I’m probably not even going to get my money, Ma.’”
In addition to attempting to bar testimony about money concerns, Melly’s team is also trying to get the case thrown out altogether. On the same day as the motion about Sakchaser, they filed a separate motion asking for the case to be dismissed. The request centers around an accusation that Detective Moretti used “excessive force” when seizing the phone of Melly’s mother Jamie King. Decisions are expected on all motions in advance of the trial start date, October 9.