The man accused of fatally shooting Migos rapper Takeoff last month allegedly looked up how to secure fake plane tickets to flee the US.
Police and prosecutors claim that the suspect in Takeoff’s murder, Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, sought information after his arrest on December 1 about using fake tickets and obtaining an expedited passport. He also allegedly made repeated online searches about whether he was a suspect in the case.
The allegations, denied by Clark through his lawyers, were made in a court hearing on Wednesday (December 15) and relayed in a report by Billboard.
Lawyers for Clark claim that he never had any intention of leaving Houston, Texas, and that he will likely pursue self-defence in the case. Clark has asserted his innocence over the murder charge, denying that he shot Takeoff (real name Kirsnick Khari Ball).
BOOKING PHOTO: Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, charged with the murder of Kirshnik Khari Ball (Takeoff). #hounews
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 2, 2022
“We feel comfortable that when the time is right that Mr. Clark will have a valid and meritorious claim for self-defence,” Letitia Quinones, one of Clark’s attorneys, said after the hearing.
Quinones declined to give any more details to the press. She suggested during the hearing this week that Clark fired after someone shot at him first, however, police claim that Clark fired the first shot.
Takeoff, 28, was fatally shot in the head and back outside a bowling alley at around 2.30am on November 1. Houston police said that the gunfire followed an argument over a “lucrative” game of dice outside but that the rapper was not involved and was “an innocent bystander”.
Sgt. Michael Burrow testified during Wednesday’s hearing that Clark’s mobile phone showed that he had searched online for fake plane tickets after his arrest. “It was my belief he was preparing to flee the country,” Burrow said.
According to Clark’s legal team, he had cancelled a previously scheduled trip to Mexico and that on the day of his arrest he’d been looking for an apartment to rent in Houston.
The suspect’s lawyers also sought to have his bond reduced from $2million (approximately £1.6million) $100,000 (£82,000). Billboard reports that District Judge Josh Hill was initially hesitant to reduce Clark’s bond owing to believing that he could be a flight risk.
However, Hill agreed to reduce Clark’s bond to $1million (approximately £822,000) if additional security requirements could be met. He added that he was happy to consider lowering it possibly even further next week.
Police said they had identified Clark through the use of shooting reconstruction and ballistics evidence as well as mobile phone and surveillance video footage that “surfaced over time”.
Two other people also sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident.
Meanwhile, Offset recently paid tribute to Takeoff during his first live concert since his bandmate’s death. “We’re doing this for my brother,” he told the audience in Miami, Florida.