The three men charged within the 2018 slaying of Jahseh Onfroy, a.okay.a. rising rapper XXXTentacion, have been found guilty of first-degree murder by a Florida jury.
The guilty verdicts got here down Monday in Fort Lauderdale after greater than seven days of deliberation, the Associated Press reported. Mandatory life sentences will come at a later date.
Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, had been all found guilty of armed theft along with the slaying of XXXTentacion at age 20.
The three “showed little emotion,” in keeping with AP, as every stood and was handcuffed.
A fourth suspect within the theft, Robert Allen, pleaded guilty final 12 months to second-degree murder and testified in opposition to the opposite three. Allen has not been sentenced but however may get something from time served to life.
“As always, I respect the verdict of the jury,” Mauricio Padilla, Williams’ legal professional, informed The Times through e-mail Monday. “However I do not believe my client was afforded a fair trial. We had a crucial defense witness stricken during trial, motion for protective orders granted prohibiting our ability to depose a key witness and motions to perpetuate the testimony of key defense witnesses denied.
“It is obvious from the days the jury was deliberating that they had questions,” Padilla continued, “and I only wish I would have been able to properly defend my client.”
XXXTentacion, who had grow to be the face of a era of SoundCloud rappers, was shot to death outdoors Pompano Beach’s Riva Motorsports on June 18, 2018.
Three months later, his music “Sad!,” launched the day earlier than he died, hit the U.S. pop chart’s Top 40 due to tens of millions of streams from SoundCloud and Spotify. The rising rapper’s online feud with big-name artist Drake, whom XXXTentacion accused of stealing his rhythm, additionally put him into the mainstream.
Other songs that scored excessive on Billboard’s Hot 100 included “F— Love,” “Jocelyn Flores” and “Moonlight.” He had chart success as properly working with Kodak Black on “Roll in Peace” and the late Lil Peep on “Falling Down.” (Lil Peep died in November 2017 of a suspected drug overdose.)
XXXTentacion — pronounced “ex-ex-ex-ten-tah-see-ohn” — turned to music in his teenagers after a traumatic childhood, releasing his first monitor in 2013. He introduced a 26-date nationwide tour in April 2017 however canceled the steadiness of it two months later after his cousin was shot. His debut solo mixtape, “Revenge,” got here out May 16, 2017, and included eight beforehand launched singles.
His second album, “?,” debuted March 16, 2018, at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It featured singles “Sad!” and “Changes,” the previous of which hit No. 1 after the rapper’s demise.
“I looked at him, and I’m seeing someone who literally got dealt a bad hand in life,” Onfroy’s supervisor, Solomon Sobande, told The Times in early 2018, recalling the primary time he met the artist when XXXTentacion was behind bars in 2016. He had been charged with allegedly beating and strangling his pregnant ex-girlfriend, in addition to false imprisonment and witness tampering.
The two had been separated by a thick glass partition, Sobande stated, and XXXTentacion was going through 30 years behind bars. The rapper pleaded not guilty to the costs and maintained his innocence till his demise. However, Pitchfork obtained a recording in late 2018 during which XXXTentacion admitted beating the lady and stabbing 9 different individuals.
“Knowing he had all this potential, I was sad for the kid,” Sobande stated in 2018. “He’s got his own issues, but it’s safe to say he didn’t get the fairest hand.”