Detective in YNW Melly trial returns to the stand, to testify again about a cell phone search warrant

The lead detective in the murder trial of rapper Jamell “YNW Melly” Demons returned to the stand Monday, without a jury, to shed light on his execution of a search warrant on the defendant’s mother last year.

Miramar Police Detective Mark Moretti, who had been accused of asking a Broward Sheriff’s deputy to lie about his presence when a cellphone was seized from Jaime King, Demons’ mother. Moretti was investigating allegations that Demons and his supporters were engaged in witness tampering.

According to Michelle Boutros, a Broward prosecutor who was present at the time, Moretti asked a deputy to lie about being in the room when the search warrant was executed. Moretti said that never happened — he did ask a deputy whether he was in the room, and the deputy joked that he could be wherever Moretti needed him to be, Moretti said. The comment was treated as a joke at the time, said Moretti.

Defense lawyers had accused the Broward State Attorney’s Office of failing to disclose that a lead detective was willing to lie about the gathering of evidence, information the defense could have used to impeach his testimony at trial.

Boutros was also called to the stand Monday to reinforce the testimony she had previously given.

Defense lawyers are asking Broward Circuit Judge John J, Murphy for permission to continue exploring the discrepancy between Boutros’ account of the search warrant seizure and Moretti’s account.

Demons is accused of murdering two friends, fellow rappers Anthony “YNW Sakchaser” Williams and Christopher “YNW Juvy” Thomas, after a recording session five years ago. His first trial ended earlier this year with a hung jury. Jury selection is underway for the retrial, which is scheduled to open Feb. 5.

Rafael Olmeda can be reached at or 954-356-4457.

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