YNW Melly Facing Death Penalty Again After Previous Ban of the Sentence Overturned
Florida rapper YNW Melly could once again face the death penalty after a Florida Appeals court reversed the decision to take the punishment off the table.
Judge Andrew Siegel's earlier ruling banning prosecutors from requesting the death penalty was recently overturned by Florida's District Court of Appeal, dealing a devastating blow to the rapper and his defense team. In July, Siegel declared that Melly would not face death row for the alleged murder of his two friends in October 2018. According to Siegel, prosecutors violated Florida's strict laws by failing to provide Melly's lawyers the proper notice that they intended to seek the death sentence.
However, on Wednesday, Judge Spencer D. Levine declared that the "Mixed Personalities" rapper and his team had "nearly three years to start the preparation of his defense." While this decision puts the grim punishment back on the table, the matter will still need to go before the Florida Supreme Court.
Philip R. Horowitz, Melly's attorney, said he and his client were "disappointed" in the ruling but are preparing to fight back against the latest setback.
The 23-year-old is accused of shooting his longtime friends, 19-year-old Christopher Thomas Jr. and 21-year-old Anthony Williams, in a vehicle and then riding around with their bodies for hours with his other friend, Cortlen Henry. Henry is accused of helping Melly stage the murders to look like a drive-by shooting, though police say the fatal shots came from inside the car.
Melly continues to maintain his innocence.
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