Three men have been found guilty of the first-degree murder of rapper XXXTentacion outside a south Florida motorcycle shop in June 2018.
Michael Boatwright, 27, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, have been convicted of murder and armed robbery after stealing $50,000 from the rapper following the shooting. A jury took just eight days to reach the verdict.
XXXTentacion - pronounced “Ex ex ex ten-ta-see-YAWN” - was a platinum selling artist whose songs tackled topics including depression and prejudice. However, the 20-year-old had also drawn criticism over his multiple arrests and charges that he had severely beat and abused his girlfriend.
The artist also had an online feud with the Canadian rapper Drake, who was initially deposed by the defence to testify in the murder trial. So who was XXXTentacion, what happened with Drake and how did he die? Here’s everything you need to know.
Who was XXXTentacion?
Rapper XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was born and raised in Lauderdale, Florida. The 20-year-old was a platinum selling rising star in the rap world, with songs including “SAD!” and “Look At Me!”.
According to Spotify, the artist had a troubled childhood, eventually being sent to a juvenile detention centre after he committed a robbery. It was here that he met Ski Mask and The Slump God, who became his long term friend and collaborator. The pair decided to pursue music, setting up the Florida rap group Members Only.
However, the artist had a troubled record, according to The Sun, in 2016 he was arrested three times on charges including: robbery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery of a pregnant victim and false imprisonment and for violation of his pretrial agreement.
How did XXXTentacion die?
XXXTentacion was shot and robbed outside a south Florida motorcycle shop in June 2018. According to Associated Press, surveillance video footage caught the incident, showing two masked gunmen confronting the singer at his driver side window. He was then shot repeatedly, with the masked gunmen grabbing the artist’s Louis Vuitton bag which contained money he had just withdrawn from the bank.
Why was Drake questioned in murder trial?
The Canadian rapper Drake and XXXTentacion had engaged in an online feud, with defence attorney Mauricio Padilla seeking to depose the artist. However, on 24 February, reported by NBC Miami, the judge ruled that Drake would not have to appear for a deposition as there was no evidence he was involved in the rapper’s death.
Who killed XXXTentacion?
Three men, Boatwright, Williams, and Newsome have been convicted of the murder and armed robbery of the rapper in 2018. During the trial, which lasted one month, prosecutors linked the men to the shooting through surveillance video footage and photos the men had taken themselves on their phones, posing with large sums of cash just hours after the murder.
Reported by News Gazette, Williams’ attorney, Mauricio Padilla explained to the Associated Press that he didn’t feel his client was offered a fair trial, Padilla said in an email: “It is obvious from the days the jury was deliberating that they had questions and I only wish I would have been able to properly defend my client.”
A fourth man, Robert Allen, a former friend of the three defendants who said he also participated in the crime, gave a testimony outlining that the group had set out to commit robberies that day and had visited the motorcycle shop to buy Williams a mask. It was only after seeing the rapper that they decided to make him their target. Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2022, the defence have accused him of lying in a bid to escape a life sentence.
When will they be sentenced?
The three men convicted of XXXTentacion’s murder will be sentenced on Thursday 6 April. Under Florida law they will receive mandatory life sentences.