YNW Melly on trial: Rapper Fredo Bang mentions subpoena in new ‘Free Melly’ song

Rapper Jamell 'YNW Melly' Demons is on trial for the 2018 murders of Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr., in Broward County. (Copyright 2023 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Louisiana rapper Fredo Bang released his “Free Melly” song on Thursday during the third week of Florida rapper YNW Melly’s trial for two 2018 murders.

Fredrick “Fredo Bang” Givens shared the music video on YouTube. The prosecution told Broward County Circuit Judge John Murphy on Thursday that Givens had “refused to comply” with their subpoenas.

The 27-year-old rapper from Baton Rouge, mostly known for his “Oouuh” and “Top” tracks, mentions a subpoena in his new “Free Melly” song.

“Tell that lady I didn’t get it,” the rapper wrote in his new “Free Melly” song — likely referring to Broward County Assistant State Attorney Kristine Bradley, who is prosecuting Jamell “Melly” Demons for the murders of fellow YNW Collective rappers Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr. and Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams on Oct. 26, 2018.

If convicted of the two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, Demons faces the possibility of life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Under the new state law, the jury’s unanimous agreement is no longer required for death.

Demons became known as YNW Melly when he released his breakout song “Murder on My Mind” on SoundCloud and on YouTube in 2017. His golden single while later signed with 300 Entertainment made it onto the Billboard Hot 100.

During the third week of the trial, Bradley and Demons’s defense argued about hundreds of photos some of which show Fredo Bang, Kanye West, Kodak Black, Young Thug, Trina, J. Cole, PNB Rock, Tee Grizzly, and Lil Uzi Vert.

Before the trial, Demons partnered with Kanye West for “Mixed Personalities.” He released “Melly vs. Melvin,” his debut album, in 2019, and his second album “Just a Matter of Slime” — which features Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, and Lil Baby — in 2021.

A grand jury indicted Demons on Feb. 7, 2019, and he surrendered to Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies on Feb. 13, 2019. He pleaded not guilty. Deputies have held him without bond for over four years.

Opening statements were on June 12. Bradley mentioned Givens in hers and she referenced the cell phone data in the case that she said was associated with him.

“What you’re also going to find out, is that while Mr. Demons is out there on the side of the road at four in the morning, 4:42 specifically, he sends a drop pin, a digital homing beacon to his current location, to one of his friends, Fredrick Givens,” Bradley told jurors.

Attorneys David Howard, Adelstein, and Raven Liberty have been on the defense table with Demons. They allege the case is the result of an opportunistic detective who spotted a high-profile case without DNA evidence or a weapon.

“A young man to wake up one day and decide that he’s going to kill two of his best friends ... They have no reason for why he would do this because there is no reason,” Howard said during his opening statement. “And if there’s no reason, it doesn’t make sense.”

Bradley has been relying on circumstantial evidence such as an alleged gang association and the estimated trajectory of the bullets, which she says contradict the report that Thomas and Williams died during a drive-by shooting.

FBI Special Agent Jeff Collins testified about the cell phone data in the case as a prosecution’s witness during the second week of the trial. This may explain why Givens’s “Free Melly” song says, “I want to talk, the feds probably got my digits.”

Miramar detectives believe Givens picked up Demons and gave him a ride after the shooting, according to prosecutors. The court is in recess until 9 a.m., on July 10.



First week of trial: Opening statements were on June 12

Second week of trial: Prosecution’s witnesses

Third week of trial: Testimony continues


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.