Adelstein tried to downplay his client’s alleged gang ties in the trial’s closing arguments on Thursday (July 20). Adelstein mentioned Snoop Dogg’s use of gang signs while trying to convince jurors to disregard evidence of YNW Melly’s alleged gang affiliation.
“Snoop Dogg, to this day, does hand signs of a gang,” the lawyer told the jury. “And he does that because he realizes it promotes his music. That’s the bottom line! And because [YNW Melly] wants to promote his music, make money, [prosecutors say] he’s all of a sudden this big gang guy.”
Prosecutors accused YNW Melly of killing his friends YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser. The prosecution said the 24-year-old rapper shot the victims after a 2018 studio session.
YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
The murder trial started in June. Jurors began deliberating after closing arguments wrapped up on Thursday afternoon.
YNW Melly’s alleged accomplice YNW Bortlen will be tried separately in October. Prosecutors claimed the two staged a drive-by shooting to cover up the murders of YNW Juvy and Sakchaser.