On Tuesday, the prosecution released video footage of the rapper being robbed and slain, as well as a video of him walking to the bank to withdraw money to buy a motorbike, as they delivered their opening comments in the murder trial of XXXTentacion. According to reports, a trio of suspects accused of first-degree murder and armed robbery—Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24—took the stand.
Rapper XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, was allegedly killed by them during an armed robbery in Florida in 2018. Robert Allen, a fourth defendant, agreed to a plea agreement for second-degree murder, and he will now testify against his pals.
Williams’ counsel requested that a motion be considered just before the jury was seated and opening remarks were made so that the judge might force Canadian rapper Drake to take a deposition during the trial. Due to XXXTentacion’s 2018 battle with Drake, the defendants are casting doubt on their role in the rapper’s murder. The lawyer claims that the defendants’ pleas for Drake and his attorneys to attend a zoom deposition have gone unanswered. The judge gave the attorney permission to issue a rule of show cause, which is a direct subpoena under the courts with a purging date, after receiving no objections from the prosecution.
Although the court remarked that what the attorney asked was “two steps” down the road because he stated relevancy to the trial, it is unknown whether Drake will abide by the request.
The opening statement by the defence saw Joseph Kimok, the lawyer for the presumed gunman Michael Boatright, express that his client was wrongfully detained by officers. He stated that the cops arrested the incorrect individual in 2018. The lawyer asserted that Boatright was not a part of the robbery and murder and revealed that another man, Keith Grayly, who shares Boatright’s physical characteristics but was not detained by police, can be seen in the surveillance footage from Riva Motorsports and is believed to be the shooter rather than Boatright. The lawyer further said that Boatright was asleep in his bed at home during the crime and was not anywhere near the place where the crime was committed.
However, the attorney admitted to his client taking photos that he described as stupid with the money that Robert Allen stole from XXXTentacion. The attorney then pointed to evidence that he believes is strong proof of his client’s innocence and indicated that after seeing the news reports of the rapper’s murder, his client started to do research on charges of being an accessory to murder. His client was, however, in the car that did the crime before and after the act was done, and that is where the photos were taken with the money.
The lawyer also said that because other people had supplied information concerning XXX’s death, the police had not conducted a comprehensive investigation. The defence has previously made attempts to suggest that XXX’s mother, who lawyers told benefited from her son’s death, could have been involved, and there have also been allegations that Drake and the Migos had the motivation to wish harm on XXX because of their dispute.
On Tuesday, the prosecution introduced two witnesses: XXX’s step-uncle Kerr and Cecelia Ramos, the Bank of America teller who talked with the rapper. Kerr gave a powerful and heartbreaking testimony about the moments when the rapper’s life was cut short. His uncle was reported to be accompanying him to do his transactions.
The taller of the two guys (Boatright) aimed his firearm at the rapper and attempted to take off the rapper’s gold chain, according to Kerr, who is recognised as the man who fled the BMW when gunmen halted the automobile.
XXXTentacion, startled by what was happening, asked his attackers for the reason they were doing this, as his uncle stated. His uncle, who was also afraid, told the court why he ran, and that was because he thought that if he fled he would get shot, but he might live from that wound. He also said that he saw Boatright aiming his gun at the rapper before he heard loud explosions, after which the men fled in a waiting Dodge SUV with the rapper’s money.
Prosecutor Pascale Achille began her opening statement by stating that Allen will testify about how he and the other three defendants leased a car, had masks and hoodies, possessed weapons, and went out to conduct robberies against any unwary victims. The prosecution continued by describing how XXXTentacion went to the bank to withdraw $250,000 so he could buy motorcycles at Riva Motor Sports after being awakened by his mother.
In court, a video was shown of XXX beaming and grinning as he entered the bank, stood in line before speaking to the clerk, and only managed to obtain $50,000.
The prosecution informed the court that the men were caught on camera watching the rapper, who they identified as a celebrity based on his jewellery and the outfit he was wearing. They then immediately began making preparations to rob him. The driver, Williams, used the rented vehicle to block the rapper’s car into the single exit, ensuring that if he tried to drive away, he would crash. His friends pounced on the rapper to commit the heinous acts. The other gunman was identified as Trayvon Newsom.
According to the prosecution, the rapper fought back while attempting to grab onto his bag after the gunmen allegedly struck XXX in the face. Boatright takes the bag and then kills the rapper by shooting him many times.
The fourth defendant, Allen, will testify about the conversations that took place after the robbery, including how Williams ordered the money to be divided, how the men boasted about the money publicly, and their after-the-robbery plan to flee the area after the surveillance video was broadcast by multiple news outlets.
Prosecutor Achille said that evidence against the defendants includes eyewitness accounts from Riva Motorsports workers who recognised Williams as a frequent customer of the shop and firearm ballistics from Williams’ house that matches evidence from the victim and the site. Along with crime scene images and security film that links the defendants to the murder site, autopsy images will also be admitted into evidence.