Up-and-coming rapper YNW Melly arrested for allegedly murdering 2 of his 'best friends'

An up-and-coming teenage rapper who recently collaborated with Kanye West was arrested Wednesday for allegedly killing two friends and staging a fake scene to make the slayings look like a drive-by shooting.

Jamell Demons, who goes by YNW Melly, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the October 2018 deaths of Anthony Williams, 21, and Christopher Thomas Jr., 19. The shootings occurred in Broward County, Fla., which is the greater Fort Lauderdale area.

Before surrendering to police, Demons 19, proclaimed his innocence on Instagram: "A couple of months ago, I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system wants to find justice," he said. "Unfortunately, a lot of lies and rumors are being said. But no worries, God is with me."

The rapper had built up a massive social media fanbase with more than 1 million followers on Instagram. His Wednesday post, in which he said he was "turning myself in" to police despite his supposed innocence, racked up more than 300,000 likes and 22,000 comments.

PHOTOS: Rapper YNW Melly's personal photos on Instagram

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YNW Melly on Instagram
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YNW Melly on Instagram
๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ”ฅ
To all my fans and supporters no I did not get locked up in Washington , but I am turning myself in today I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of yโ€™all, a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice.. unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother @ynw.bortlen and we want yโ€™all to remember itโ€™s a ynw Family I love you @ynwsakchaser1 and @ynwjuvy #freeus
Melly and Melvin Two face ๐ŸŒŽ - WE ALL SHINE TOUR STARTS TOMORROW!!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š #TicketsLinkInMyBio
๐Ÿ‘ฝ #WeAllShine Tour tickets link in bio โ€ผ๏ธโœจ drop a ๐ŸŒŽ if you coming ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’
They Took My Brothers From Me Over Jealousy ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’” I know yโ€™all watching over me ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐ŸŒ itโ€™s #ynw4l @ynwsakchaser1 @ynwjuvy for Life and after ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพโค๏ธ, they wanna see me break down and stop or in jail or a box but my niggas still need me they parents need me they family need me till we meet again my twins my slimes ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ’” #thankyouallforyourprayers
#NoMore ๐Ÿ‘€ @montreality #WeAllShine album out this Friday pre-order link in bio (Management) #freemelvin #ynw4l prod by @cclipbeatz
Free Melvin โ€œIโ€™ll be out before my tourโ€
TOLD YALL I KLEAN SHIT UP FR ๐Ÿ™ˆ Last nigga tried MELLYIO ? He in a backwood ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’• #G5HINE ๐Ÿคญ #KLEANUP5ET
YNWโ€™s a FAMILY ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿโœจ
Bet Yโ€™all canโ€™t pick which picture is Melvin ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŒŽ Whoever gets it right gets a kash app ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿคฎ
Melvin says u should get off his dick & get your shit together , pussies. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ’• #YSL ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’• -Kanye Gave me the jacket so fuck off ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
Fuck all of dat talkin we Kan go to war ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘น
I keep dese bitches N check like WINN DIXIE โœ…๐Ÿงใ€ฝ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•
Who tryna get some Custom YNW gear like this ?? ๐ŸŒŽ #LLS #LLJ YOUNG NIGGA ๐ŸŒŽ YOUNG NIGGA WAYS ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ”ซ #SLATT ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’š
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After the Oct. 26 slayings, Demons posted a photo with his two deceased friends, writing, "They took m brothers from me over jealousy, I know ya'll watching over me," and thanking fans for their prayers.

Other popular photos on his page include a December 2018 selfie with Kanye West and announcements for a tour, which was scheduled to begin this week in New York.

Online streams of his 2017 single "Murder on My Mind," which was certified gold. jumped dramatically amid news of his arrest. Released well before the incident in question, it includes lyrics like "I didn't even mean to shoot him / He just caught me by surprise / I reloaded my pistol, cocked it back and shot him twice."

"Can't wait to see ya'll soon," he wrote on Feb. 1. "Had to push back the dates because of issues with my jail time."

Police believe that after shooting Williams and Thomas, Demons and another man, 20-year-old Cortlen Henry, used a Jeep to create the illusion of a drive-by attack. Henry is also charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Demons' attorney told press in October that his client was devastated over the loss of Williams and Thomas, both of whom were also aspiring rappers. They had reportedly been close since childhood.

"Those were his best friends," attorney Bradford Cohen said.

Demons remains in jail without bond.

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