Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Solar-Sentinel by way of AP
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Three males have been discovered responsible Monday of the 2018 killing of star rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot exterior a South Florida bike store whereas being robbed of $50,000.
Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, have been all discovered responsible of first-degree homicide and armed theft by a jury that deliberated a bit of greater than seven days. They may obtain necessary life sentences at a later date.
The defendants confirmed little emotion as every stood and was handcuffed by a bailiff.
Throughout the monthlong trial, prosecutors linked the boys to the June 18, 2018, capturing exterior Riva Motorsports in suburban Fort Lauderdale via intensive surveillance video taken inside and out of doors the shop, plus cellphone movies they took that confirmed them flashing fistfuls of $100 payments hours after the slaying.
Prosecutors additionally had the testimony of a fourth man, Robert Allen, a former good friend of the defendants who stated he participated within the theft. He pleaded responsible final 12 months to second-degree homicide. He has not been sentenced pending the conclusion of this trial. He might get anyplace between time served, that means he might quickly be launched, and life, relying partly on how prosecutors understand his help.
Protection attorneys accused Allen of being a liar motivated by avoiding a life sentence. In addition they stated prosecutors and detectives did a poor investigation that did not have a look at different doable suspects, together with the Canadian rap star Drake; he and XXXTentacion had a web-based feud.
Twice this week, the jury requested to overview textual content messages from Boatwright, whom prosecutors recognized because the shooter, from the day of the capturing. A printout from prosecutors reveals that from the time he awoke about 10:30 a.m. till 3 p.m., about an hour earlier than the capturing, he despatched 17 to numerous individuals, together with one about getting a automobile. Prosecutors say the SUV used within the capturing was rented from a lady via a cellphone app. He then stopped texting for about two hours.
About an hour after the capturing, he despatched a textual content saying, “Inform my brother I acquired the cash for the brand new cellphone.” Minutes after that, he despatched somebody a screenshot of a information story saying XXXTentacion had been shot.
XXXTentacion, whose actual title was Jahseh Onfroy, had simply left Riva Motorsports with a good friend when his BMW was blocked by an SUV that swerved in entrance.
Surveillance video confirmed two masked gunmen rising and confronting the 20-year-old singer on the driver’s window, and one shot him repeatedly. They then grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag containing money XXXTentacion had simply withdrawn from the financial institution, acquired again into the SUV and sped away. The good friend was not harmed.
Newsome was accused of being the opposite gunman. Williams was accused of being the motive force of the SUV, with Allen additionally inside.
Allen testified that the boys set out that day to commit robberies and went to the bike store to purchase Williams a masks. There they noticed the rapper and determined to make him their goal. Allen and Williams went contained in the store to verify it was him. They then went again to the SUV they’d rented, waited for XXXTentacion to emerge and ambushed him, in response to testimony.
The rapper, who pronounced his title “Ex ex ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” was a platinum-selling rising star who tackled points together with prejudice and melancholy in his songs. He additionally drew criticism over unhealthy habits and a number of arrests, together with fees that he severely beat and abused his girlfriend.