THE three men charged with the murder of rapper XXXTentacion have been found guilty nearly five years after the HOPE lyricist died.
A Florida jury convicted suspects Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome of the fatal armed robbery of rapper XXXTentacion in Deerfield Beach on June 18, 2018.
Boatwright, 28, Williams, 26, and Newsome, 24, were all handcuffed immediately after the judge read out each of their sentences.
The three men were all charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery for the 2018 murder.
Witness-turned-suspect Robert Allen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year, testified how his three ex-boyfriends were involved in the incident.
During her closing arguments, prosecutor Pascale Achille played surveillance footage of Allen confessing his involvement in the crime.
Achille also broadcast a cellphone video taken by Boatwright, Willaims and Newsome shortly after the murder of the 20-year-old Moonlight rapper, in which they showed a handful of $100 bills.
“They are,” Achille told the jury. “That’s her true character. Killers who do this within 24 hours of shooting the victim and stealing $50,000 from him. Look how happy they look. Look how excited they look to have that money.”
“They are,” Achille told the jury.
“That’s her true character. Killers who do what they do within 24 hours of shooting the victim and stealing $50,000 from him.
“Look how happy they look. Look how excited they look to have that money,” she added.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Joseph Kimok argued that the DNA found on the victim’s body and on a stolen necklace did not match that of his client Boatwright or that of the other two defendants.
“Whoever he (XXXTentacion) fought is not in this courtroom,” Kimok told jurors after a four-week trial.
“DNA proves someone other than Michael Boatwright or Trayvon Newsome was involved in this murder.”
The trio could face a life sentence.
XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Onfroy, had just left Riva Motorsports with a friend on June 18, 2018 in suburban Fort Lauderdale when his BMW was blocked by a preceding SUV.
The car blocked X and two gunmen jumped out to confront the friends, prosecutors said.
The perpetrators held guns to the window, with a suspect warning against jumping out of the car, while the rapper said: “What’s that for?”
Surveillance video showed a masked gunman repeatedly firing at the rapper after a 45-second struggle.
The trio then grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag containing the $50,000 that XXXTentacion had just withdrawn from the bank.
Then they got back into the rented SUV and sped away. X’s friend was not injured in the incident.
Lawyers revealed heartbreaking surveillance footage during the trial showing X talking to a bank teller shortly before the incident.
Prosecutors said the three defendants and Allen set out to commit robberies that day and targeted X after spotting him at the motorcycle shop.
“We had masks to rob people,” Allen said.
Allen and Williams went to the bike shop to confirm it was the rapper and returned to their SUV, where they waited for X to come out, prosecutors said.
After the robbery, the perpetrators fled the scene and abandoned the vehicle.
They later reunited after Newsome returned to the scene of the crime to retrieve the rental car.
During his testimony, Allen said that each of the men received $15,000 of the stolen money, but he only received $5,000 because he remained in the vehicle during the robbery.
X was a platinum-selling rising star whose songs explored themes of prejudice and depression.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/7581057/rapper-xxxtentacion-murder-trial-verdict-reached/ XXXTentacion Murder Trial Verdict: Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams & Trayvon Newsome Found Guilty of Murder