Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy has denied the motion for a mistrial in the murder case of American rapper Jamell Demons, professionally known as YNW Melly.
The rapper’s attorney, David Howard, filed a motion last week to have the case declared a mistrial, as the defence believed that the jury had been “tainted” by the testimony of Melly’s ex-girlfriend’s mother, Felicia Holmes.
Howard accused the prosecution of allowing Holmes to read out-of-court statements contrary to the court’s ruling against it and described the incident as a “prejudicial fiasco.”
However, Judge Murphy, who declared Holmes a hostile witness last week, disagreed with Howard’s claims, ruling against the motion for a mistrial in court Tuesday morning. It was further announced that witness testimonies would not be proceeding as a juror suffering dehydration was still hospitalised after a case of what appears to be food poisoning.
On the other hand, YNW Melly was comical in court before the judge denied his motion for a mistrial. He seemingly cracked multiple jokes and was seen laughing on several occasions.
Melly stands accused of the 2018 murder of his fellow “YNW” collective rappers Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr. and Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams on October 26. Prosecutors have alleged that Melly, who maintains his innocence, shot and killed both men while they were all in a Jeep in Miramar after leaving Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
If convicted, The rapper could face the death penalty.