A lawyer for the family of one of Florida rapper YNW Melly’s alleged murder victims recently addressed rumors that circulated on some hip-hop blogs which speculated that the rapper would be released after one of his co-defendants was granted bail. On Monday, it was reported that Cortlen Henry, aka YNW Bortlen, was granted released against a $75,000 bond, prompting some sites and fans to run with the idea that YNW Melly would also be allowed release. However, John M. Phillips, who represents Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas, Jr.’s family, made sure to refute the rumors, saying fans are “beyond delusional” for believing them.
“He’s not getting released unless a jury says so,” Phillips clarified via tweet. “There is evidence he killed these young men in cold blood. Whether you like his music or not, these families deserve justice.” His tweets came as a response to tweets from accounts like @saycheeseDGTL and @djvlad which surmised that court documents pertaining to Bortlen also applied to Melly. Phillips also made it a point to clarify that he represents the family of YNW Juvy, not YNW Bortlen.
Update: Jamell Demons aka @YNWMelly’s co-defendant Cortlen Henry aka @YNWBortlen was granted bond and house arrest. Melly remains in jail until trial. The victim’s family understands the release but does not agree with it. They hope for full justice and safety of all witnesses. pic.twitter.com/JDVNK6TTAW
— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) May 24, 2020
The Melly fans thinking he’s getting released are beyond delusional. He’s not getting released unless a jury says so and there is evidence he killed these young men in cold blood. Whether you like his music or not, these families deserve justice. https://t.co/0x1x8uReWk
— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) May 25, 2020
Bortlen and Melly are both on trial for allegedly murdering two of their YNW associates and manipulating the crime scene. Evidence found at the scene didn’t match the statement Bortlen gave to police about the shooting, causing police to believe that Melly shot and killed the two fellow rappers, then damaged their vehicle to make it appear as if they’d been killed in a drive-by. Melly pled “not guilty” and has since had a release request denied after reportedly contracting COVID-19.