Three men were accused of killing rapper XXXTentacion. Defense attorneys suggested Drake may have been responsible.
Suspects Michael Boatwright, Trayvon Newsome and Dedrick Williams are accused of carrying out the fatal shooting outside a Florida motorcycle store in what prosecutors alleged was a robbery that escalated to a cold-blooded killing.
All suspects are facing first-degree murder charges
But the legal team for the three defendants argued that investigators did not probe XXXTentacion’s simmering feud with Drake in the aftermath of the 20-year-old’s untimely death. The rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, once claimed on social media that if he ever ended up dead, Drake was the reason, though he later retracted that bold statement.
The rapper’s death came four months after 17 people were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which the defense argued put the highly scrutinized Broward County Sheriff’s Office under pressure to solve XXXTentacion’s murder quickly without fully exploring the other suspects, including a celebrity.
“For Broward County, for everyone involved, this was a nightmare,”Jurors were told by Mauricio Padilla (one of the lawyers).
Prosecutors claim that Drake was responsible for the fatal shooting.
Boatwright, Trayvon and Williams are accused of going to Riva Motorsports on June 18, 2018, to buy masks with plans to commit armed robberies, but decided to target XXXTentacion when they saw him inside the store, prosecutors said.
As the rapper left the store in his BMW, Williams cut off the sports car with his SUV as Boatwright and Newsome rushed XXXTentacion’s car to rob him, prosecutor Pascale Achille said in court.
They took about $50,000 from XXXTentacion in a Louis Vuitton handbag before Boatwright shot them multiple times. “without any provocation,”Sie said.
The trio of men are tied to the shooting through surveillance footage and cellphone spots, as well as the testimony of Robert Allen, a fourth man implicated in the rapper’s death who took a plea deal and is expected to testify during the trial, Achille said during her opening.
Some men also appeared to have flashed cash that they had swiped via social media.
“They go on social media and start bragging that they have this influx of cash,” Achille said. “They flash it like it’s Christmas Day.”
Boatwright’s lawyer, Joseph Kimok, said his client was home asleep at the time of the killing and cellphone data linked to him was a community phone used by several men. According to him, although he presented the money from social media, it was Allen’s money and not Boatwright.
Newsome’s attorney also argued his client was not at the scene.
Boatwright (28), Williams (26) and Newsome (24) could face the death penalty if convicted for first-degree murder. The two are also facing robbery allegations.
Allen, 26, pled guilty to second degree murder in December 2013.
The stage name for the rapper is “pronounced” “ex-ex-ex-ten-ta-see-YAWN,”A rising star, he was platinum-selling and explored depression and prejudice in his songs. However, he also received heat from multiple arrests that included allegations that he had severely beat and abused his girlfriend.
With Post wires
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