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Rapper XXXTentacion's accused killers planned a robbery, prosecutors say. With $50K in a bag, he became their target

Rafael Olmeda, South Florida Sun-Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Prosecutors on Tuesday outlined the case against three of the four men accused of killing rising rap star XXXTentacion in an ambush outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership in 2018.

Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome each face a sentence of life in prison if found guilty of murdering the rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, outside Riva Motorsports. The victim, 20, had been shopping for motorbikes and carrying $50,000 in cash in a Louis Vuitton satchel.

The fourth man, Robert Allen, pleaded guilty last year and agreed to testify against the other three, and both sides made it clear his testimony would be pivotal. They disagreed on whether it would be credible.

Prosecutor Pascale Achille said Allen will place the other three defendants at the scene of the crime. The four had rented a Dodge Journey the day before with the specific intention of committing robberies, Achille said.

Allen and Williams spotted Onfroy in the motorcycle shop and knew he was their mark, Achille said.

“Boatwright and Newsome put on masks,” she said. As Onfroy decided to leave without making a purchase, he got in his car and tried to drive away. The four men in the rented Journey blocked him. Boatwright and Newsome jumped out, Achille said. Onfroy’s friend, who accompanied him to protect him, ran off when the trouble started. The men fought with Onfroy over the satchel.

Shots were fired. Onfroy was killed.

Allen pleaded guilty last August to a lesser charge of second-degree murder, which puts him at risk of a life sentence but allows a judge to decide how long he will spend in prison.


The other three, if convicted of first-degree murder, would face a mandatory life sentence.

That gives Allen plenty of incentive to lie, attorneys for the other three said Tuesday.

“Robert Allen is the only person who puts Michael Boatwright at the scene, and he has a whole host of reasons to lie,” said Boatwright’s lawyer, Joe Kimok. “If Robert Allen testifies in this trial, he will lie. And we will prove that he is lying.”

Mauricio Padilla, representing Williams, and George Reres, representing Newsome, each portrayed their clients as innocent men who would no longer be considered suspects if not for investigators’ rush to judgment and Allen’s self-serving testimony.

There was even a suspicion raised that the hip-hop artist Drake might have been involved, and he is listed as a potential witness in the case. Padilla raised Drake’s name as a lead that detectives failed to investigate in their rush to judgment.

The trial is taking place before Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan.


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