Broward's Legal Circus: YNW Melly’s Lead Prosecutor Gets the Boot as Murder Retrial Approaches
Written by: Sam Orlando
In the ever-twisting saga of rapper Jamell "YNW Melly" Demons' double murder retrial, Broward County has hit us with yet another curveball. Imagine a courtroom scene where the lead prosecutor might end up testifying for the defense. Sounds like something out of a satire, doesn't it? Well, welcome to the Broward County legal circus!
Assistant State Attorney Kristine Bradley, who once led the charge against Demons, has now been benched by Circuit Judge John J. Murphy, according to an order issued by the Judge today. Her new role? Possibly a star witness for the defense. Bradley could be called to challenge the credibility of one of Demons’ chief accusers in the deaths of Anthony "YNW Sakchaser" Williams and Christopher "YNW Juvy" Thomas, according to the defense. This sudden plot twist has left the State Attorney’s Office scrambling to find a replacement just days before jury selection.
If you're wondering why, in some alternate reality, Bradley would even be considered as a potential defense witness, here's the tea. Bradley is embroiled in a dispute over what really went down last October during a little incident involving the seizing of a cellphone, according to Court records. The device, belonging to Demons’ mother, was snatched during a deposition in downtown Fort Lauderdale, another prosecutor testified earlier in the week. Michelle Boutros, that prosecutor, claimed Miramar Police Detective Mark Moretti asked a Broward Sheriff’s Deputy, Adam Gorell, to vouch that he was present when the phone was taken. A tad problematic since Moretti was out of his jurisdiction and shouldn't have had his hands on the phone. Even more problematic? Deputy Gorell wasn't present during the seizure, according to Boutros.
But wait, the plot thickens. There's some disagreement about this entire phone snatching episode. Moretti’s official report conveniently skipped over any mention of Gorell being there (or not). And the Broward State Attorney’s Office? They've gifted us with three different versions of the story, which they also filed with the Court. Bradley added a fourth version during a pretrial hearing.
Defense attorneys argue that Moretti's credibility is hanging by a thread. They believe both Boutros and Bradley might shed light on Moretti's possible willingness to stretch the truth and, perhaps, urge a fellow officer to commit perjury, according to their defense motions.
For a moment, there was hope (or dread, depending on which side you're on) that this entire case would be chucked out. But Judge Murphy burst that bubble. He noted that evidence doesn't suggest a “cover-up” by the State Attorney Harold Pryor or his deputies, so they won't be packing their bags either. This might be a chief example of the proverbial "splitting of the baby" from the bench.
The prosecutor's office tried to play down the whole Moretti-Gorell exchange as a jest. A joke! Because what's a high-profile murder trial without a little comic relief? Perhaps Broward County wouldn't lose high profile cases if they were taken seriously, and not in jest?
With Demons’ first trial ending inconclusively in July, the clock is ticking for the prosecutors. As both sides prep for another round in court, we can only wonder what unexpected twists Broward’s legal theater will serve up next.
Stay tuned, folks. The drama is far from over.