Three Men Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Murder of Rapper XXXTentacion
Thursday 18 May 2023
Three men received life sentences on Thursday for the 2018 killing of acclaimed rapper XXXTentacion. The star rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was tragically shot outside a South Florida motorcycle shop during a robbery in which $50,000 was taken.
Following eight days of deliberations, a jury convicted Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, of first-degree murder and armed robbery last month. As prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, Broward County Circuit Judge Michael Usan had no option but to impose life sentences for the first-degree murder convictions.
Throughout the month-long trial, prosecutors presented extensive surveillance video from inside and outside Riva Motorsports, the store where the shooting took place, along with cellphone videos of the defendants flaunting large sums of money shortly after the crime. The prosecution also relied on the testimony of Robert Allen, a former friend of the defendants who admitted involvement in the robbery and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Allen's sentence will be determined later, based partly on his cooperation.
Defense attorneys criticized Allen as a dishonest witness motivated by a desire to avoid a life sentence. They also alleged that the investigation by prosecutors and detectives was flawed, failing to explore other potential suspects, including Canadian rap star Drake, who had engaged in online feuds with XXXTentacion.
The incident occurred when XXXTentacion and a friend left Riva Motorsports and were blocked by an SUV. Surveillance footage revealed two masked gunmen approaching the rapper at his car window, with one repeatedly shooting him. The assailants then seized a Louis Vuitton bag containing the cash XXXTentacion had withdrawn from the bank before fleeing in the SUV. The rapper's friend escaped unharmed.
Boatwright was identified as the main shooter, Newsome was implicated as the second gunman, Williams was accused of driving the SUV, and Allen was alleged to have been inside the vehicle.