Broward County

Florida rapper YNW Melly charged with murder. Cops say he killed 2 aspiring rappers

Cortlen Henry, left and Jamell Demons
Cortlen Henry, left and Jamell Demons Miramar police

YNW Melly, the Florida rapper whose We All Shine Tour was set to begin Thursday in Arizona, has been arrested and charged with murder, Miramar police announced Wednesday.

The department said in a news release that the rapper, whose real name is Jamell Demons, and Cortlen Henry were responsible for the shooting deaths of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr. in October. Both Williams and Thomas Jr. were aspiring rappers from Vero Beach. Williams went by the name YNW Sak and Thomas went by YNW Juvy.

“The investigation, supported by forensic evidence, has concluded that Demons shot and killed Williams and Thomas Jr. and that Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting,” the department said.

Just after 4:30 a.m. Oct. 26, a Jeep Compass showed up at Memorial Miramar Hospital with two men who had multiple gunshot wounds. Both men died from their injuries.

Anthony Williams, left, and Christopher Thomas, Jr. Miramar police

At the time, police did not identify the driver. On Wednesday, police said Henry drove the Jeep to the emergency room and “gave a statement to police.”

“However, the facts during the preliminary investigation did not match what was presented to detectives,” the department said.

In the days following the death of Williams and Thomas, YNW Melly’s attorney told the Sun Sentinel that the rapper had lost two lifelong friends.

“He’s sad, he’s upset, obviously,” Fort Lauderdale attorney Bradford Cohen, who is representing YNW Melly, told the paper at the time. “Those were his best friends.”

YNW Melly, who was arrested in January on drug charges, was just announced as part of Kodak Black’s Dying to Live Tour.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.