Judge Orders Drake to Give Deposition in XXXTentacion Murder Trial

Mauricio Padilla—defense attorney for Dedrick Williams, one of three suspects on trial—attempted to subpoena Drake last month, saying he was a no-show.

Drake onstage in a chain

Image via Getty/Prince Williams/Wireimage

Drake onstage in a chain

Drake is being ordered to give a deposition or make an appearance in court later this month for the XXXTentacion murder trial.

Mauricio Padilla—defense attorney for Dedrick Williams, one of three suspects on trial—attempted to subpoena Drake late last month. Per Rolling Stone, Padilla claims the Her Loss artist was in fact served properly, but was a no-show.

The move to involve Drake stems from an Instagram Stories post where XXXTentacion wrote in all caps, “If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi. Im snitching rn.”

The Florida rapper then claimed he was hacked. He was murdered four months later at age 20. 

In his opening arguments on Tuesday, Padilla explained (and paraphrased), “Before X died, he said, ‘If anybody kills me, it’s Drake.’ Do you think sitting here years later, any detective has ever asked Drake or anybody like that? No.” He also noted, “This is one of the biggest celebrities in the world. Excluding an order from this court, we all know that I will never be able to take his deposition.” 

Broward Country Circuit Judge Michael Usan granted Padilla’s petition on Thursday for an “order to show cause.” A Feb. 24 date has been set for Drake to fulfill the order, which Billboard says will take place via Zoom. 

“If deponent Aubrey Drake Graham does not appear to deposition he must appear before this court on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023 at 10 a.m. EST at so [sic] the court can determine why he should not be held in contempt,” reads the order, as reviewed by Rolling Stone

A court filing from Padilla in December also cited comments from XXXTentacion’s mother Cleopatra Bernard, who said a feud with Migos was a concern as well. “In [her] deposition, Bernard said that she asked one of [X’s] relatives to accompany him to the motorcycle shop the day he died ‘because of the ongoing battle with Drake and Migos,’” RS writes.

In an explainer on the situation, Complex’s Jessica McKinney writes, “The suspected feud between X and Drake dates back to 2017, when Drake previewed a new song during a tour stop in Amsterdam. Some concertgoers suggested the new song sounded eerily close to X’s hit single ‘Look at Me.’ Drake, who has been accused of ‘biting’ other artists’ sounds in the past, denied all accusations. … To be clear, Drake is not a suspect or on trial, but by mentioning the Canadian rapper, Padilla is introducing someone other than his client in order to show reasonable doubt.”

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