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The trial for YNW Melly, born Jamell Demons, has finally begun.

The Florida rapper is facing double murder charges in the October 26, 2018 killings of his childhood friends 21-year-old Anthony Williams and 19-year-old Christopher Thomas in Miramar and may also face the death penalty if convicted. His case is among the first being considered after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law to lower the threshold for a death sentence to an 8-4 vote.

Demons, now 24, has pleaded not guilty.

YNW Melly’s lawyer, David Howard, called the prosecution’s investigation “incompetent and incomplete,” and insisted that his client had no reason to kill his friends.

“After four years of investigation, the state comes and says, ‘Hey, he killed two of his best friends.’ And you’re wondering why, and their answer is, ‘Uh, I dunno.’ That’s the first indication that they’re just guessing and don’t know what they’re talking about,” Howard argued in court.

Prosecutors claim they have sufficient evidence and have reportedly gathered blood splatter evidence, phone data, and a bullet casing in a car the rapper was driving in. Melly claimed they were killed in a drive-by but prosecutors say there isn’t any evidence to support that.

“The detectives from Miramar … shut down the entire length of Miramar Parkway from 160th to 172nd. They walk side-by-side for an hour, that mile-long stretch, looking for evidence of this drive-by … In this case, the lack of evidence is very important,” prosecutor Kristine Bradley said. “There is a lack of any evidence whatsoever to support that a drive-by happened on Miramar Parkway.”

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