Rapper YNW Melly could face the death penalty in Florida killings
‘They took my brothers from me’
Henry gave a statement to police, but the facts discovered during the preliminary investigation did not match what was presented to detectives, police said. Further investigation and forensic evidence found that YNW Melly shot and killed Williams and Thomas, and that YNW Melly and Henry then staged the scene to resemble a drive-by shooting, police said.
The day after the shooting, YNW Melly mourned the loss of his “brothers” in an Instagram post full of breaking heart emojis.
“They Took My Brothers From Me Over Jealousy,” he wrote. “I know y’all watching over me.”
View this post on Instagram
They Took My Brothers From Me Over Jealousy 💔💔 I know y’all watching over me 🙏🏾🌍 it’s #ynw4l @ynwsakchaser1 @ynwjuvy for Life and after 🙏🏾❤️, they wanna see me break down and stop or in jail or a box but my niggas still need me they parents need me they family need me till we meet again my twins my slimes 🐍 💔 #thankyouallforyourprayers
In February, the rapper took to Instagram again, saying he was turning himself in to police and referred to “rumors and lies” about him.
“I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all,” he wrote. “[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.”
The Instagram caption ended with a hashtag: “#freeus”
View this post on Instagram
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, 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
The rapper had an up-and-coming career
Before his arrest, YNW Melly had just begun a concert tour across the country, and his Instagram was full of the trappings of hip-hop stardom: stacks of cash, diamond jewelry and a gold grill covering his smiling teeth.
Billboard interviewed him a week before he was arrested and the rapper discussed his plans for 2019, how he linked up with Kanye and his overall background. During the interview, he said the two men who were fatally shot were his “day one brothers” and that he couldn’t speak on whether he was a target in the shooting.
CNN has reached out to YNW Melly’s attorneys for comment, but has not heard back.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, Tina Burnside and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.