The men accused of killing XXXTentacion have been found guilty of murdering the artist.
Though prosecutors aren’t seeking the death penalty, they have requested life sentences for Michael Boatwright (28 years old), Dedrick Williams (26 years old), and Trayvon Newsome (24 years old).
A Florida jury announced the verdict Monday, more than four years after XXXTentacion—born Jahseh Onfroy—was gun downed outside a motorsport shop in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Boatwright, Newsome, and Williams were each charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. They were found guilty on both of those charges by the jury. The three men are set to be sentenced on Thursday, April 6.
A fourth suspect, Robert Allen, was also charged in connection to the shooting, but pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge last year and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.
The shooting took place June 18, 2018, just moments after XXXTentacion and an associate left the Riva Motorsports dealership. As they started pulling out of the parking lot, their vehicle was blocked by an SUV occupied by the four suspects. Two armed men, later identified as Boatwright and Newsome, then exited the car and carried out an ambush. Boatwright is accused of opening fire on XXXTentacion, who died after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds.
Allen told the court he remained in the SUV while Newsome stole XXXTentacion’s jewelry and a Louis Vuitton bag containing $50,000 in cash. He also claimed Williams was the getaway driver.
Defense attorneys accused Allen of lying under oath, and slammed local authorities for failing to properly investigate the killing. Joseph Kimok, who represented Boatwright, said prosecutors neglected to look into other possible suspects, including Drake, who had an alleged beef with XXXTentacion. Kimok also said DNA evidence proved Boatwright, Newsome, and Williams were not involved in the murder.
“Whoever (XXXTentacion) struggled with is not in this courtroom,” Kimok told jurors during his closing argument. “The DNA proves that someone not named Michael Boatwright or Trayvon Newsome participated in this murder.”
Lead prosecutor Pascale Achille presented video footage and cell phone data that linked the suspects to the fatal shooting. She also showed the jury a number social media posts in which the suspects showed off some cash just hours after XXXTentacion’s death.
“This is who they are. This is their real character,” Achille said in court as she played a cellphone video featuring the defendants. “Killers that within 24 hours after shooting the victim dead and stealing $50,000 from him, this is what they do. Look at how happy they look. Look at how excited they look.”