A Florida Sheriff’s Office is accusing incarcerated rapper YNW Melly of planning an escape from jail, reportedly with the help of one of his attorneys. The 23-year-old was accused of orchestrating the jailbreak during a court hearing on Tuesday.
Melly has been locked up since February 2019 awaiting trial for the alleged murder of two of his crew members and close friends, Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas, Jr. and Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams.
On Thursday, the Broward County Sheriff’s General Counsel’s Office told Complex that Melly, referred to by his given name, Jamell Demons, and another inmate named Nicholas Lewis planned the escape with the help of the rapper’s attorney.
The department claims Melly’s lawyer was supposed to bring in two handcuff keys to aid in the escape, and added that the other inmate, Lewis, had a shank and drugs on him.
“On April 11, 2022, Broward Sheriff’s Office received a confidential tip regarding inmates Nicholas Lewis and Jamell Demons, both housed in the same unit at the Main Jail, planning an escape from jail by having Demons’ attorney bring in two handcuff keys to aid in the escape. Additional information provided by the source was that Lewis had a shank and drugs,” the statement reads, in part.
Authorities cited a “confidential tip” from a jailhouse source about the plan, which resulted in jail officials searching Lewis’ cell after the tip, as reported by The Shade Room last week.
They reportedly uncovered a six-inch shank, two razor blades, two lighters, and rolling papers, according to Complex.
Lewis was also found to have Seroquel and Klonopin pills on him, for which he doesn’t have a prescription.
Melly’s cell was similarly searched, however nothing was found except for food from the commissary and what an “excessive (amount of) jail-issued clothing,” per an incident report.
“The confidential source gave us two pieces of information. One of them [about the shank and drugs] turned out to be a hundred percent true,” explained Christian Tsoubanos, Assistant General Counsel for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, in court on Tuesday. “And when they did the search of Demons’ cell, they did not find the handcuff key, but it could have been that there was not an opportunity to bring it into the facility yet.”
Meanwhile an attorney for YNW Juvy’s mother Leondra Phillips in her civil suit against the rapper told Complex that “as an attorney for a victim, we strongly feel any attempts to escape justice point to guilt.”
“As an attorney for a victim, we strongly feel any attempts to escape justice point to guilt,” attorney John M. Phillips told Complex. “This matter needs to be fully investigated, including the attorney’s involvement. Certainly, there are times when informants and even government agents are wrong or engaging in misconduct, but we’ve seen so much in this case from rooftop stripper parties across to diamond teeth dentist needs, this is yet another chapter in what needs to just be finished in court.”
One of Melly’s lawyers, Raven Liberty, is accused of giving other people her phone login credentials so they could make “non-recorded video visitation” calls with the “Murder on my Mind” rapper.
On a recorded phone call earlier this month, Melly can be heard telling his girlfriend Erran Barnett: “hey, I’m supposed to be talking to my lawyer. Whenever they call you, be like, ‘Is this Ms. Liberty? Is this this person? Just be like yup, yup, yup,’” according to Complex.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office eventually took away the rapper’s phone privileges because of repeated violations, including over 3,000 calls to his girlfriend, with all but 22 of them without using his personal identification number, which is required under jailhouse rules.
Melly had initially faced the death penalty for the murders, however prosecutors have since appealed that decision.
The case is currently still pending in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals.