Three men accused of killing rapper XXXTentacion were given life sentences for the 2018 killing.
Michael Boatwright (28), Dedrick Williams (26), and Trayvon Newsome (24) were convicted last month of first-degree murder and armored robbery by a jury. The jury deliberated for eight days before rendering the verdict. Prosecutors in the case did not seek the death penalty, so life in prison was the only sentence the judge could impose.
Prosecutors linked all three men to the June 18, 2018 shooting outside Riva Motorsports in Fort Lauderdale. Extensive surveillance camera footage was taken from inside and outside the store, plus cellphone camera videos of the men flashing fistfuls of $100 bills hours after the killing. A fourth man, Robert Allen, testified against the defendants, pleading guilty to second-degree murder for his participation in the robbery.
Defense attorneys accused Allen of being a liar who was motivated by his desire to avoid spending life behind bars. They also allege the prosecutors and detectives did a poor job on the investigation and didn’t look at other possible suspects, one of which they say was Canadian rapper Drake.
Surveillance footage of the event showed two masked gunmen emerging from and confronting the rapper at the driver’s window of his vehicle. One of the men shoots the rapper repeatedly, while the other grabs a Louis Vuitton bag containing cash XXXTentacion had withdrawn to make a purchase at the ATV store. Boatwright was identified by prosecutors as the primary shooter, while Newsome was accused of being the other gunman. Williams was accused of driving the SUV and Allen with being inside the vehicle as the robbery and killing went down.
XXXTentacion was just 20 years old when he was shot to death, but already he amassed a huge following of fans for his two albums. In 2020, the rapper made posthumous history for his single, “Jocelyn Flores” passing one billion streams on Spotify—one of only 60 or so tracks to have achieved that milestone.