YNW Melly faces a tough legal fight after state prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty in his double murder case.
The 19-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Jamell Demons, was charged in February with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Christopher Thomas Jr., 19, and Anthony Williams, 21 — and according to TMZ, the state of Florida is moving to seek the death penalty against Melly.
Prosecutors believe they can present evidence that the “Murder on My Mind” emcee shot and killed Thomas Jr. and Williams for financial gain, the gossip site reported, and that the murder was calculated and premeditated.
State officials also believe Melly is a known criminal gang member, TMZ said.
Melly’s friend, Cortlen Henry, 20, was also arrested in Houston, Texas, in January, in connection with the October 2018 shooting. He faces charges of murder and accessory after the fact to the first-degree felony that left the two victims with gunshot wounds to the head, torso and back.
Miramar police believe Demons shot and killed Thomas Jr. and Williams and, with the help of Henry, “staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.”
Melly, who previously collaborated with Kanye West on the song "Mixed Personalities," has been in jail since he appeared in court in February, when a judge ordered he be held without bond.
Before he was placed in handcuffs, Melly posted on his Instagram he was turning himself in to police and thanked his fans for their support.
“To all my fans and supporters no I did not get locked up in Washington , but I am turning myself in today I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all,” the rapper wrote in his Wednesday post. “A couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice.. unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother @ynw.bortlen and we want y’all to remember it’s a ynw Family I love you @ynwsakchaser1 and @ynwjuvy #freeus.”
Thomas Jr. and Williams were in South Florida on Oct. 26, 2018 when they were struck by a hail of bullets. They arrived at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds in a Jeep driven by Henry, the Sun-Sentinel reported. They were pronounced dead at the hospital. Police initially believed a drive-by shooting had occurred, but couldn’t pinpoint what led to the fatal shootings.
At the time, Melly’s attorney Bradford Cohen told the Sun-Sentinel that his client was “upset, obviously. Those were his best friends.”
Melly also posted his own tribute in October, tweeting: “They Took My Brothers From Me Over Jealousy I know y’all watching over me…and after, they wanna see me break down and stop or in jail or a box...”
Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.