Incarcerated rap star YNW Melly, who is currently awaiting trial after being charged with double homicide, has been accused of orchestrating an attempted prison escape with the help of a member of his legal team.
Authorities’ knowledge of the alleged prison escape plot was revealed by the Broward County Sheriff’s General Counsel’s Office during a court hearing on Tuesday (Sept. 27).
“On April 11, 2022, Broward Sheriff’s Office received a confidential tip regarding inmates Nicholas Lewis and Jamell Demons, both housed in the same unit at the Main Jail, planning an escape from jail by having Demons’ attorney bring in two handcuff keys to aid in the escape,” the Sheriff’s Office shared in a statement to Complex. “Additional information provided by the source was that Lewis had a shank and drugs.”
While correctional officers recovered a six-inch shank, two razor blades, two lighters, rolling papers, and Seroquel and Klonopin pills allegedly belonging to Lewis during the search, no contraband was found in Melly’s cell. This includes a handcuff key that was said to be in the rapper’s possession.
“The confidential source gave us two pieces of information,” said Christian Tsoubanos, Assistant General Counsel for the Broward Sherriff’s Office, during Tuesday’s hearing. “One of them turned out to be a hundred percent true. And when they did the search of Demons’ cell, they did not find the handcuff key, but it could have been that there was not an opportunity to bring it into the facility yet.”
Melly, born Jamell Maurice Demons, is currently awaiting trial on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder for his role in the deaths of fellow YNW members Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas Jr. and Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams in 2018. The rapper faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. The state was originally seeking the death penalty, but his attorneys were able to remove the possibility of capitol punishment from his sentencing based on a technicality.
“As an attorney for a victim, we strongly feel any attempts to escape justice point to guilt,” Phillips told the outlet. “This matter needs to be fully investigated, including the attorney’s involvement. Certainly, there are times when informants and even government agents are wrong or engaging in misconduct, but we’ve seen so much in this case from rooftop stripper parties across to diamond teeth dentist needs, this is yet another chapter in what needs to just be finished in court.”