In a Broward County courtroom on April 6, Judge Michael Usan handed down mandatory life sentences to the three men convicted of murdering rapper XXXTentacion during a 2018 robbery in South Florida. The convicted individuals were Dedrick Williams, Michael Boatwright, and Trayvon Newsome. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, and the three men will not be eligible for parole or early release for good behavior.
During the sentencing, Solomon Sobande, the manager for the rapper, read a statement on behalf of the family, expressing their sorrow that XXXTentacion never got to meet his son, who was born seven months after the killing. The family will never get to see him reach his full potential, grow old, or be a father.
The trial lasted for four weeks, with a jury of five men and seven women convicting the three men on first-degree murder and armed robbery charges after six days of deliberation. Boatwright, Newsome, and Williams were tied to the crime through testimony, surveillance video, and cellphone records. Boatwright was the shooter, Newsome was the second gunman, and Williams was the ringleader and getaway driver. A fourth suspect, Robert Allan, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against his former friends.
The robbery took place on June 18, 2018, when XXXTentacion had just left Riva Motorsports in suburban Fort Lauderdale with a friend. His BMW was blocked by an SUV that swerved in front, and two masked gunmen emerged and shot him repeatedly. They then stole a Louis Vuitton bag containing $50,000 cash that the rapper had withdrawn from the bank.
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Defense attorneys tried to refute evidence and point to others as responsible, but the jury did not accept their arguments. During the trial, prosecutors argued that the four men set out that day to commit armed robberies and recognized XXXTentacion when they went inside the motorcycle shop to buy masks. The group seized the opportunity to rob him as he left, and Boatwright shot him several times without provocation, according to prosecutor Pascale Achille.
After the guilty verdict was returned, XXXTentacion’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, spoke briefly, thanking everyone for their support and saying that justice had been served.