Artist News Legal
By Chris Cooke | Published on Tuesday 21 March 2023
Three men were yesterday found guilty of first-degree murder in relation to the 2018 killing of rapper XXXTentacion.
During a month long trial, the jury heard that Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome had set out to commit robberies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the day of the murder. They saw XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, at a motorcycle shop where Williams planned to buy a mask before committing their crimes. That’s when they decided to target the rapper.
Having confirmed it was indeed Onfroy, the three men went back to the SUV they had rented and waited for the rapper to emerge so they could ambush him.
CCTV footage showed two masked gunmen – identified as Boatwright and Newsome – confront Onfroy. Boatwright then shot the rapper repeatedly before grabbing a Louis Vuitton bag he was carrying which contained cash recently withdrawn from the bank.
Prosecutors put forward an assortment of CCTV footage when presenting their case, as well as videos filmed on the defendants’ own phones. They also utilised the testimony of a fourth man involved in the crime, Robert Allen, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder last year.
Boatwright, Williams and Newsome are yet to be sentenced, but face life sentences under Florida law. A legal rep for Williams claimed his client did not get a fair trial, in part casting doubt on the reliability of Allen’s testimony.
The lawyer had also wanted Drake to testify as part of the trial because of his public feud with Onfroy. That didn’t happen, however, after Drake’s legal reps successfully argued that their was nothing to suggest their client had any link to or knowledge of the murder.