YNW Melly Murder Trial Day 17 – What We Learned
It’s been a month since the start of the YNW Melly double-murder trial. Now, there's the watch for the verdict.
Day 17 of the YNW Melly Double-Murder Trial
Closing arguments in the YNW Melly trial took place on Thursday (July 20). Both sides received a substantial amount of time for their arguments. The prosecution began presenting first and the defense presented afterward. The prosecution then followed up with a rebuttal later in the day.
Judge John Murphy III started the trial by reviewing YNW Melly’s charges and rights. The charges included first-degree premeditated murder with possession of a firearm. Additionally, the judge defined the lesser included crime of manslaughter. After the judge read the instructions aloud to the jury, the prosecution presented their closing argument.
The Prosecution Presents Closing Argument
"Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, I can get up here before you and say the defendant is guilty of murder in the first degree…I now have the opportunity to explain all of the evidence…," said Prosecutor Kristin Bradley in court.
During the closing argument, the prosecution reviewed evidence from the case and recounted the fatal shooting. Some of what was included in their closing argument was surveillance footage from the studio, autopsy results from the victims and cell phone data/records. The prosecution also focused heavily on the location of YNW Melly’s phone and DNA evidence on the Jeep’s door handle.
At around 1 p.m., the prosecution wrapped up their initial closing argument shortly before lunch recess. Moments before the recess, however, Bradley mentioned possible motives for the murders.
The Defense Responds With Closing Argument
After lunch recess, YNW Melly's defense attorney Stuart Adelstein began the closing argument at 1:35 p.m. The defense said that there is a conflict of evidence as well as lack of evidence from the State. Adelstein also pointed out that lead Detective Mark Moretti used bullying and threatening tactics in order to get witnesses to cooperate and testify. The defense's closing argument lasted over an hour.
Jury Deliberations Begin
Following closing arguments from the defense, the State rebutted and had the last word just before 3:30 p.m. The jury was then excused at 3:26 p.m. Deliberations are expected to begin on Friday morning (July 21). Law & Crime’s Cathy Russon reports that there are a total of 12 jurors, five men and seven women.
According to journalist Bryson Paul, the first verdict is to determine if YNW Melly is found guilty or not guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm. If found guilty, the court proceeds with the death penalty phases.
Read More: Fans Can Bet $100 on Whether or Not YNW Melly Is Guilty or Innocent in His Double-Murder Trial
See video of day 17 of the YNW Melly double-murder trial below.—Allison Hazel