On Feb. 13, 2019, YNW Melly was arrested and charged with “two counts of first-degree murder” (via HipHopDX). The arrest stems from the deaths of his two “best friends” and members of his rap crew, Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams, 21, (pictured left) and Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas Jr., 19, (pictured right) who were killed in October of 2018 (via TCPalm) in what initially appeared to be a drive-by shooting, according to HipHopDX. However, police in Miramar, Fla. reportedly say that Melly shot the pair and staged the scene to resemble a drive-by with accomplice Cortlen “YNW Bortlen” Henry. Henry reportedly drove the pair to a hospital, but Williams and Thomas were apparently already dead when they arrived, per South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Though police sources say they have evidence of Melly’s involvement, as reported by XXL — including a shell casing found inside the vehicle, cell phone records, and surveillance video — the rapper has maintained his innocence. “Unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother [Henry],” Melly wrote in an Instagram post before turning himself in to authorities.
As of this writing, Melly and Henry are awaiting trial.