The Broward County State Attorney’s Office found a new prosecutor for YNW Melly’s double murder case. Assistant State Attorney Alixandra Buckelew revealed her assignment to the case at a court hearing on Tuesday (October 17).
According to the Miami Herald, Buckelew previously worked on the XXXTentacion murder case. She was one of the prosecutors who secured convictions of XXXTentacion’s killers.
Buckelew requested more time to become familiar with YNW Melly’s case at Tuesday’s hearing. The defense pushed back against any more delays, citing their client’s right to a speedy trial.
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office had to recruit Buckelew after a Florida judge removed former lead prosecutor Kristine Bradley from YNW Melly’s case. Judge John Murphy refused to let Bradley stay on the case due to concerns about her getting called as a witness in the retrial.
YNW Melly’s lawyers convinced Judge Murphy to remove Bradley by accusing the Broward County State Attorney’s Office of prosecutorial misconduct. The defense hoped the judge would dismiss their client’s case entirely but considered Bradley’s recusal to be a victory.
“While we believe that a mistrial and full dismissal is the appropriate course of action, we’re gratified the court did not permit Ms. Bradley to continue as lead prosecutor,” attorney Raven Liberty said. “We will let the rarity of this kind of decision by the court speak for itself.”
YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, was tried for murder over the summer. Prosecutors accuse him of killing his friends YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser in 2018. The rapper’s first trial ended with a hung jury.
Jury selection for YNW Melly’s retrial is scheduled to begin on Wednesday (October 18). The process is expected to take several weeks.
YNW Melly has remained in jail since his 2019 arrest. He maintains his innocence.