On Feb. 13, a Florida rapper was arrested for allegedly murdering two of his close friends last year. He had taken to Instagram to mourn the two men shortly after their deaths in October 2018.

According to the Miramar Police Department, the rapper, who goes by the stage name YNW Melly, shot the victims, ages 21 and 19, in Miramar in the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Another defendant, a 20-year-old male, then drove the victims, who were each shot multiple times, to a nearby hospital at around 4:30 a.m. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to revive them, and they were pronounced dead.

Investigators claim that the two defendants tried to cover up the crime by making the killings look like a drive-by shooting, but their statements to police reportedly didn’t add up. In addition, forensic evidence allegedly showed that the rapper was the one who pulled the trigger. Both YNW Melly and the other defendant are facing two counts of first-degree murder. Just before his arrest, the rapper again took to Instagram to claim that the murder accusations were “lies” and suggested that “the system” was trying to set him up to take the fall.

In Florida, first-degree murder charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Because the consequences are so grave, individuals charged with murder may want to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorney could protect a client’s rights and make sure he or she fully understands the charges. Legal counsel could also thoroughly investigate the case, challenge the prosecution’s evidence and do everything possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed.