As the trial approaches for the murder of Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, known professionally as XXXTentacion, here are five things to know before it begins. Opening statements commence on Jan. 30.
3 On Their Way To Trial
The following three out of four suspects, Dedrick Williams (26), Trayvon Newsome (24), and Michael Boatwright (28), will be facing trial for the murder of the late rapper XXXTentacion. All three men, also charged with armed robbery, could receive life sentences if convicted of first-degree murder.
Last August, Robert Allen (26) was the only suspect to plead guilty to second-degree murder. According to investigators, surveillance video and other evidence link the defendants to the killing.
Judge Rules On Gang Expert
Just before jury selection, the defense attempted to have Jesse De La Cruz, a former gang leader, and convicted felon, testify. De La Cruz, initiated at 13, was a member of two street gangs before changing his life and earning a doctorate on how gangs exert social control in communities.
“The gangs you have in Florida, that are like the Crips or the Bloods, are originally from California, so they have the same characteristics, the same nuances, as the ones over there,” De La Cruz said. The judge later ruled that the gang expert would not be allowed.
Witnesses In XXXTentacion’s Murder Trial
Due to a substantial amount of swirling internet rumors, several rappers have been named as witnesses in the murder case of the late Florida rapper. The rappers on the witness list include chart-topping rapper Drake, with whom X had an ongoing feud—and others, including Chicago rapper 600 Breezy, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and Migos members: Quavo, Offset, and late artist Takeoff, who passed away in November.
According to Billboard, the witness list was originally submitted by Miami defense attorney Mauricio Padilla, who also represents Dedrick Williams–the alleged getaway driver. However, the superstar rappers are not obligated to appear in court.
Arrests Made For The Murder Of XXXTentacion
In July 2018, A Florida grand jury indicted the four men on first-degree murder and armed robbery charges in the fatal shooting of the “HOPE” rapper.
Dedrick Williams and Robert Allen were seen on surveillance cameras where the late rapper was shopping. A store clerk claimed he witnessed Williams purchasing a black neoprene mask and recognized him as a repeat customer.
According to Miami Police, Williams was arrested during a traffic stop in Pompano Beach two days after XXXTentacion’s murder, and Michael Boatwright was arrested for unrelated drug charges shortly after.
Allen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was tracked and arrested by U.S. Marshals in Macon, Georgia. Seven weeks after the shooting, Trayvon Newsome, also identified as the second gunman, surrendered to authorities.
XXXTentacion Shot And Killed
Authorities stated XXXTentacion was leaving Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, FL, with a friend when an SUV blocked his BMW on June 18, 2018. Two masked gunmen then approached the driver’s window, where one shot XXX and grabbed the late rapper’s Louis Vuitton bag containing $50K before speeding away.
The Miami Herald reports also state XXX had previously stopped at Bank of America and withdrew the $50K in 100 dollar bills. In addition, Boatwright is believed to have been the suspect who pulled the trigger, resulting in the rapper’s death.