Three men have been found guilty of the murder of rapper XXXTentacion, following a month-long trial.
Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24 were found guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today (March 20). The three men will receive mandatory life sentences at a future date (via AP News).
XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was killed in a shooting aged 20 as he left a car dealership in Miami, Florida in June 2018.
Boatwright, Williams and Newsome all originally pleaded not-guilty to charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery. A fourth codefendant, Robert Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges in August 2022 and there were reports that a plea deal was taken by Allen in the hope of reducing his sentence by co-operating with law enforcement.
During the trial Allen testified that the three men had planned to commit robberies that day and went to the motorcycle shop to buy a mask, but they spotted XXXTentacion and decided to target him.
The case was built around surveillance footage taken inside and outside of Riva Motorsports, plus phone videos that showed the trio with money that was allegedly stolen.
Last month, a Florida judge ruled that Drake wouldn’t need to be deposed in relation to the murder, after the rapper’s lawyers argued it was “unreasonable” for him to be drawn into the case.
Drake was initially ordered to appear in court in connection with the murder trial. While prosecutors have never claimed that Drake was implicated in the rapper’s 2018 death, a defence attorney for one of the three murder suspects previously tabled Drake’s alleged involvement as an alternative theory to XXXTentacion’s killing.
Arguing against his deposition, Drake’s attorney, Bradford M. Cohen, said: “It is both unreasonable and oppressive to subpoena an out of state party who has not been mentioned in any reports, any investigation, or referenced to have any involvement in this matter. To mandate that he appear for deposition for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”
Since XXXtentacion’s death, a number of posthumous releases have been shared, with the album ‘Bad Vibes Forever’ released in late 2019.
A feature-length documentary, titled Look At Me: XXXTentacion, was also released last year on Hulu in the US. The documentary charts the late rapper’s ascent on SoundCloud, his struggles with mental health and his history of domestic abuse charges. In 2018, he confessed to a series of violent crimes in a secret recording.