Three subjects were found guilty by a jury in Florida for the murder of popular rapper XXXtentacion after four days of deliberations and reviewing sufficient material from the defendants.
The jury reviewed approximately 1,200 text messages, videos, and several photos from two cell phones, in which those involved were seen with stacks of high-denomination bills after the shooting of Jahseh Onfroy, popularly known as XXXTentacion.
The young man was killed in a shooting on June 18, 2018, outside a motorcycle dealership in Fort Lauderdale, and two men shot to rob him $50,000 he was carrying in a purse.
Jurors made a request in the Monday afternoon to see the contents of the phones of the 28-year-old Michael Boatwright and 26-year-old gang leader Dedrick Williams.
Williams had sent more than 950 messages in between the day before and the day after the shooting, Boatwright received more than 200 messages.
The jury gathered in front of a screen in front of the courtroom to read messages that were not readable from the gallery.
In turn, the jury did not ask for any details from Trayvon Newsome, the 24-year-old second shooter, or from the co-conspirator Robert Allen, 26.
Allen apparently would have testified against his co-conspirators after pleading for guilt in 2022 to a second-degree murder.
In Boatwright’s case, Williams and Newsome were charged with armed robbery and first-degree murder for which they faced mandatory life sentences.
The jury deliberated for nearly 15 hours after receiving the case on the last Wednesday, following four weeks of testimony.
On the day of the shooting, JahSeh Onfroy left Riva Motorsports after going to the store to look for a motorcycle to buy, at which time his BMW was blocked by an SUV, according to the AP report.
In one of the security camera videos, two armed subjects were seen getting out of the SUV and pointing at the rapper on the driver’s side window, one of which shot him several times and then took the bag with the money and flew the scene.
Allen confessed in court that the gang had been out committing random robberies and had gone to the motorcycle store to purchase a mask.
At that point, they spotted the singer and made them their target. Allen and Williams entered the store, where they confirmed that it was XXXTentacion.
They then returned to the van they had rented, where they waited for the rapper to come out and perpetrated the crime, according to the testimony.
Prosecutors reported that surveillance videos from the dealership, cell phone evidence, and videos of offenders directly linked them to the crime.
Attorneys for the defendants asserted that Allen was lying, and that no DNA was found on the artist.
The defense also added that although the videos showing the money were “stupid” they were not enough proof that their clients were involved in the robbery and shooting.
XXXTentacion was known as a rising rap star, had platinum sales, and addressed issues such as prejudice and depression in his songs.
However, he was also known for his bad behavior and a large number of arrests, both for domestic violence and for abusing his girlfriend.