Rihanna’s name has been thrown into YNW Melly‘s double murder trial as the Florida rapper and his co-defendant YNW Bortlen have been accused of using the Fenty mogul’s name in their alleged witness tampering efforts.
According to TMZ, prosecutors say Melly and Bortlen spoke using Rihanna’s name as part of a secret jail code when attempting to stop certain witnesses from cooperating with authorities and testifying against them.
YNW Melly (born Jamell Demons), who lost his phone privileges while behind bars, allegedly used another inmate’s phone time to send messages to the outside world — including Bortlen, who was out on bond prior to it being revoked when he and Melly were hit with witness tampering charges earlier this week.
Officials claim the duo spoke about “Rihanna” and “A$AP Rocky’s baby mama” staying behind in a “Maybach,” which is believed to be code for Melly’s ex-girlfriend, Mariah Hamilton, and her mother, Felicia Holmes, not testifying in the case.
The “Murder On My Mind” rapper has also been accused of using handwritten notes to get his messages across, “coordinating their delivery to various cell blocks through nonspeaking cues.”
An inmate named Terrence Mathis was implicated as the third party working with YNW Melly and YNW Bortlen in their alleged witness tampering scheme.
According to an affidavit, Bortlen and Mathis had 60 different phone calls between March and August 2023, in which they used various coded language to hide their intentions.
Bortlen’s witness tampering charges first came to light on Monday (October 2) following a home raid in Miami, Florida. He was subsequently booked in Miami-Dade County.
Bortlen was scheduled to begin his trial on the day he was taken into police custody, which is why his day in court has now been moved to January 12, 2024. He has been out on bond with a monitor since August 2021 for his alleged ties to the 2018 murders.
Melly’s double murder retrial is scheduled to begin on October 9 after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in July’s trial.
The 24-year-old stands accused of murdering his friends YNW Sakchaser (real name Anthony Williams) and YNW Juvy (real name Christopher Thomas Jr.) in October 2018, and then staging the crime scene to look like a drive-by shooting.