The Dallas Morning News

Jury convicts 3 of murder in death of rapper


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Three men were found guilty of first-degree murder on Monday in the 2018 killing of star rapper Xxxtentaci­on, who was shot outside a South Florida motorcycle shop while being robbed of $50,000.

Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, were also convicted of armed robbery by a jury that rendered its verdict less than an hour after beginning its eighth day of deliberati­ons.

Their sentencing, which Circuit Judge Michael Usan set for April 6, will largely be a formality; Florida law dictates a life sentence for firstdegre­e murder conviction­s.

The defendants showed little emotion as they stood one by one to be handcuffed by a bailiff.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office thanked the jurors and prosecutor­s in a statement but said it would not comment further until the sentencing.

Williams’ attorney, Mauricio Padilla, told The Associated Press that he doesn’t feel his client was afforded a fair trial. He noted that a crucial defense witness was stricken and that he was prohibited from deposing a key witness. Phone messages were left with attorneys representi­ng Boatright and Newsome.

“It is obvious from the days the jury was deliberati­ng that they had questions and I only wish I would have been able to properly defend my client,” Padilla said in an email.

During the monthlong trial, prosecutor­s linked Boatwright, Williams and Newsome to the June 18, 2018, shooting outside Riva Motorsport­s in suburban Fort Lauderdale through extensive surveillan­ce video taken inside and outside the store, plus cellphone videos the men took showing them flashing fistfuls of $100 bills hours after the slaying.

Boatwright was identified as the primary shooter. Twice last week, the jury asked to review 17 text messages that prosecutor­s said he sent to various people from the time he woke up about 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., about an hour before the shooting. He then stopped texting for about two hours.

About an hour after the shooting, Boatwright sent a text saying, “Tell my brother I got the money for the new phone.” Minutes after that, he sent someone a screenshot of a news story saying Xxxtentaci­on, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, had been shot, prosecutor­s said.

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