The complex legal saga surrounding YNW Melly’s double-homicide case has taken yet another unexpected turn with the arrest of one of his co-defendants, YNW Bortlen, on charges of witness tampering.
The arrest came following a home raid in Miami, Florida, as reported by Law&Crime Network’s Bryson Paul on Monday, October 2. Subsequently, Bortlen, whose real name is Cortlen Henry, was booked in Miami-Dade County.
Bortlen had been scheduled to commence his trial on the day he was taken into police custody. However, due to this development, his day in court has been rescheduled to January 12, 2024.
He had been out on bond with electronic monitoring since August 2021 in connection with the alleged involvement in the 2018 murders.
It’s important to note that YNW Melly’s trial concluded in a mistrial in July, but Bortlen continues to face charges independently for the killings of YNW Juvy (Christopher Thomas Jr.) and YNW Sakchaser (Anthony Williams).
Shortly after the mistrial was declared, Bortlen sent out a cryptic tweet that seemed to allude to his impending trial, stating, “Mind games don’t work on people like me [handshake emoji].”
During a brief pre-trial hearing in late July, Broward County Judge John Murphy set the date of October 2 for YNW Bortlen’s trial. Furthermore, Fred Haddad, the attorney representing YNW Bortlen, requested that Judge Murphy allow his client to work in a studio and record music while awaiting trial.
However, prosecutor Kristine Bradley opposed the motion, citing violations of Bortlen’s house arrest terms, particularly the late-night studio sessions.
Bradley argued against granting special privileges, emphasizing that Bortlen had previously violated the terms of his bond agreement. Consequently, Judge Bradley sided with the prosecution and denied Haddad’s request.
Earlier in January, audio recordings emerged featuring Bortlen speaking to detectives about the tragic events of October 2018.
In the recordings, he briefly recounted the incident that resulted in the deaths of YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy. Bortlen described being the driver of the vehicle during the incident and the chaos that unfolded, stating: “I’m trying to make sure I don’t get hit. And you’re telling me about this — I don’t know, you know what I’m saying? I’m driving, shit crazy, bro.”