YNW Bortlen Arrested With Maps Showing Where Jurors in YNW Melly Double-Murder Trial Are Sitting – Report
YNW Bortlen Arrested With Sketches of Jury Box
As the court prepares for YNW Melly's retrial, more details have come to light concerning the arrest of his codefendant YNW Bortlen for witness tampering. On Thursday (Oct. 12), journalist Bryson Paul, who has been covering the Melly case extensively, shared documents on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the State recently submitted into evidence. They included drawings that were reportedly found in Bortlen's home on Oct. 2 when he was taken into custody and charged with witness tampering.
The drawings, which can be seen below, appear to depict the jury box in YNW Melly's first trial and include descriptions of what each jury member looks like. A couple jurors are even mentioned by name. The discovery is even more eyebrow-raising considering Bortlen was not in attendance for Melly's trial.
XXL has reached out to the Florida State Attorneys Office and YNW Bortlen's attorney for comment.
Prosecution Wants Juror Names Hidden
As a result of the discovery, the prosecution in the case has asked for the jury members at the retrial to remain anonymous and numbers be used to identify them instead.
"There is evidence that suggests potential or seated jurors in the upcoming jury trial will be subjected to improper outside influences or harassment," prosecutor Kristine Bradley wrote in her motion on Tuesday (Oct. 10). Bradley was removed from the case on Thursday (Oct. 12) and replaced.
Melly and Bortlen Charged With Witness Tampering in Addition to Murder
Last week, both YNW Melly and YNW Bortlen were charged for witness tampering, with Bortlen's arrest coming following a raid on his home on Oct. 2. Melly, who is already in custody, was charged with the same crime the following day. Police say both men conspired via third-party texts and phone calls to stop Melly's ex-girlfriend Mariah Hamilton from testifying against the rapper.
Both Melly, born Jamell Demons, and Bortlen, born Cortlen Henry, are accused of the 2018 murders of Chris "YNW Juvy" Thomas and Anthony "Sakchaser" Williams. Authorities say Melly was the triggerman and claim Bortlen helped cover up the crime. Melly's first trial ended in a mistrial in July. He is set to begin his retrial this month. YNW Bortlen is slated to face trial in January of 2024.
See the alleged courtroom sketches police found in Bortlen's home below.