YNW Melly asked a Florida judge to dismiss his double murder case in a motion filed on Tuesday (September 26). According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, the incarcerated rapper accused the Broward County State Attorney’s Office of prosecutorial misconduct.
Defense attorneys claimed prosecutors withheld evidence regarding Detective Mark Moretti, the lead investigator in the double murder case. Lawyers said prosecutors covered up Moretti’s alleged misconduct to protect him as a witness in YNW Melly’s first trial.
“The information provided by [Assistant State Attorney Kristine] Bradley indicates that Detective Moretti executed a search warrant outside of his jurisdiction and therefore, illegally,” YNW Melly’s lawyers argued. “It would have allowed the defense to question him as whether he committed a robbery or battery on [YNW Melly’s mother] Jamie King when he unlawfully took her phone. It would have shown that Detective Moretti was willing to lie as to who served the search warrant, an official court order, and it would have shown that Detective Moretti was willing to conspire with Deputy Gorel to obstruct justice and to create false filings. This was impeachment evidence favorable to the Defendant.”
YNW Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, is accused of killing his two friends in 2018. He was tried for murder this past summer, but the proceedings ended in a mistrial. Jury selection for a retrial is scheduled to begin in October.
The 24-year-old artist’s attorneys insisted prosecutors purposely withheld evidence about Moretti in the motion for dismissal. The defense believed prosecutors shelved an internal affairs investigation and a possible criminal investigation against Moretti.
“Rather than presenting this to the defense so that the defense could have used it during the first trial, the State withheld this information,” YNW Melly’s legal team contended. “In fact, it is believed the highest levels of the State Attorney’s Office made determinations to not provide it to the defense, and secondly, not to pursue the internal affairs investigation. This was the institutional policy of the State Attorney’s Office, not just one prosecutor. This evidence was suppressed by the State.”
They continued, “The unfortunate stark reality is that the State intentionally withheld this information that would impeach Detective Moretti in order to gain a tactical advantage and to violate Mr. Demons’ due process rights as guaranteed by both the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the parallel provisions of the Florida Constitution.”
YNW Melly’s lawyers suggested there may be more examples of prosecutorial misconduct. But attorneys thought they had enough evidence to secure their client’s release from jail.
“In essence, the State has intentionally done whatever it could to sanitize Detective Moretti’s actions so they would not be fodder for cross-examination during trial,” YNW Melly’s lawyers wrote. “Although the defense has only uncovered the tip of the iceberg in this matter, this tip is sufficient for this Court to determine the Defendant’s Due Process Rights, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution through the Fourteenth Amendment, and the parallel provisions of the Florida Constitution, that his fundamental rights have been violated and that the only remedy is dismissal and to let him free.”
YNW Melly has remained in jail since his 2019 arrest. A judge denied him bond on September 22.