Rapper Jahseh Onfroy, better known as XXXTentacion, was shot to death in his BMW while leaving RIVA Motorsports motorcycle shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June 2018. The singer-songwriter, known for his hit song “SAD!”, was all of 20 years old at the time of his death.
Now, three men have been convicted in connection with his murder.
Michael Boatwright, 27, is believed to have fired the shots that took the young artist’s life.
The triggerman was convicted of one count each of murder in the first degree and robbery with a firearm. For each of the two counts, the jury found the following special conditions applied: Boatwright possessed a firearm, discharged a firearm, and actually inflicted death as a result of discharging the firearm in his possession.
Trayvon Newsome, 24, is considered the second or standby gunman in the case. He did not fire his weapon but is alleged to have been the bagman as well – taking off with the money after the shots were fired.
He was convicted of one count each of murder in the first degree and armed robbery. For each of those two counts, the jury found that the special conditions of possessing a firearm applied.
Dedrick Williams, 26, is believed to have driven the getaway car. He was found guilty of one count each of murder in the first degree and armed robbery.
The high-profile trial saw its share of controversy over the course of several weeks as the trio unsuccessfully sought to poke holes in the story that prosecutors delivered to Broward County jurors.
More Law&Crime coverage: Drake ordered to appear for deposition in XXXTentacion murder trial or face possible ‘contempt,’ judge rules
Boatwright’s attorney argued Boatwright was not competent to stand trial. A judge disagreed. Newsome’s attorney sought to have his trial severed from the other co-defendants. The judge nixed that request as well.
In the days after the shooting, law enforcement said Boatwright searched for “XXXTentacion” and “Accessory to Murder” on his cell phone. Those searches didn’t help him plead his innocence.
Williams was seen on surveillance footage at the motorcycle shop the rapper had left just before he was murdered. The co-defendant would later tell police that he did not know there was a plan to rob XXXTentacion on the day in question. Law enforcement claim a live round recovered from Williams’ residence at one point “cycled through” the murder weapon.
A fourth co-defendant, 26-year-old Robert Allen, testified against the others. Earlier this year, he took a plea deal on one count each of second-degree murder, and robbery with a firearm. During his testimony, he told jurors he was hesitant to carry out the attack.
“I tell them I don’t think it is a good idea,” the witness recalled telling the others as the plan was hatched. “I just went in there, and I am on camera. I knew it was a great chance we were gonna be caught.”
Williams admittedly tried to minimize his involvement after the fact when caught, but insisted he didn’t do much anyway. He said that he only received $5,000 out of the $50,000 total that was stolen from XXXTentacion. Each of the other three men came away with $15,000 apiece, Williams said, because they were more involved in the robbery.
According to a deputy, as Allen was being brought out to explain his version to jurors, Newsome shouted: “There he is working with the police! You’re working with the white man now!”
That incident was also discussed on the stand.
Allen pointed to Newsome and said: “He called me a police-ass n***a. He said I work for the white man and that I am a sellout.”
Each of the defendants were accused of blocking the rapper’s exit from the motorcycle shop’s parking lot with an SUV before getting out of the vehicle and shooting Onfroy. He was found dead slumped over in the driver’s seat of his car by a bystander after the robbery.
More Law&Crime coverage: Fans’ Worst Fears About XXXTentacion Have Been Confirmed
XXXTentacion’s lyrics were marked by the depressive style and was considered to be “at times devastating.” Musically, he borrowed heavily from the so-called “third wave” of emo rock.
Part of the emergent genre of emo rappers, XXXTentacion’s death rocked the hip-hip community – particularly his fanbase in the southern reaches of the Sunshine State. Tributes for the slain musician rolled in after his death from the likes of Rick Ross, Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, and J. Cole. Rappers Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty and singer Erykah Badu were among his funeral attendees.
Legendary rapper and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jay-Z dedicated a terse two bars at the end of his verse on Drake’s “Talk Up” – which was released just days after the shooting: “Y’all killed X and let Zimmerman live/Streets is done.”
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]