In a court filing, USA Today reported, prosecutors stated their intent to prove a number of aggravating factors, arguing the killings were:
- "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel"
- "committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification"
- "committed by a criminal gang member"
In the court documents, TMZ reported, the prosecutors said they believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Melly killed his friends for financial gain, the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, and he committed homicide in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner.