Rapper accused of killing 2 friends

Police in Florida have charged rapper YNW Melly with killing two of his close friends who were also rising rap stars, and trying to make it appear they died in a drive-by shooting.

On Wednesday, Miramar police arrested 19-year-old YNW Melly, whose legal name is Jamell Demons, on first-degree murder charges in October 2018 deaths of 19-year-old Christopher Thomas Jr. and 21-year-old Anthony Williams.

In a news release, Miramar police said that the pair had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were already dead by the time they got to the hospital.

The rapper's 20-year-old friend Cortlen Henry also was arrested, in Houston last month, and extradited to Florida on Tuesday in connection with the killings.

Police said that Henry gave a statement to police. However, the facts during the preliminary investigation did not match what was presented to detectives. Further investigation, supported by forensic evidence, concluded that Demons shot and killed Williams and Thomas Jr. and that Demons and Henry staged the crime scene to resemble a drive-by shooting.

In a post Wednesday on YNW Melly's official Instagram, he said "a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice."

YNW Melly's first official studio album was released in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.