Lawyer: DNA proves XXXTentacion's alleged killer's innocence

Streaming HUBMarch 8, 2023

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) – A lawyer for the man accused of shooting rising rap star XXXTentacion during a 2018 robbery outside a Florida motorcycle shop told a jury Wednesday that DNA evidence exonerates his client and another man.

Attorney Joseph Kimok made final defense arguments at the trial of three men accused of first-degree murder, noting that the artist had struggled with her killers before being shot and that DNA was found on the body and on a stolen necklace. Was gone, so it was. t from his client, 28-year-old Michael Boatwright. Nor was it the other accused gunman, Trayvon Newsom, 24, or the accused getaway driver and ringleader Dedrick Williams, 26.

“Whoever fought with[XXXTentacion]does not belong in this courtroom,” Kimoc told jurors as the four-week trial began. “DNA proves that someone named Michael Boatwright or Trayvon Newsom did not participate in this murder.”

A fourth man, Robert Allen, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and testified against his former friends. Lawyers for all three men say he is lying about his clients’ involvement in the murder and robbery, which netted $50,000. They also say Broward County sheriff’s detectives botched the investigation, failing to consider other possible suspects, including Canadian rap star Drake, with whom XXXTentacion had an online feud.

Prosecutors will give their rebuttal arguments after the conclusion of the hearing on Wednesday. During his preliminary closing arguments on Tuesday, lead prosecutor Pascal Achille played surveillance video from the motorcycle shop and said elsewhere that he supported Allen’s testimony. She also played cellphone videos, allegedly taken by the defendants hours after the murder, that showed them smiling and dancing as they waved handfuls of $100 bills.

Jury deliberations are expected to begin after Achilles’ rebuttal ends. If convicted, Boatwright, Williams and Newsom all face mandatory life sentences. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, left Riva Motorsports in suburban Fort Lauderdale with a friend on June 18, 2018, when his BMW was blocked by an SUV that swerved in front.

Surveillance video showed two masked gunmen came out and confronted the 20-year-old rapper at the driver’s window, and one shot him repeatedly after a 45-second struggle. He then grabs a Louis Vuitton bag containing $50,000 that XXXTentacion had just withdrawn from the bank. They then got back in the SUV and fled. The friend was not harmed.

Prosecutors say the three defendants and Allen set out to commit the robbery that day and went to a motorcycle store to buy Williams’ mask. There he saw the rapper and decided to make him his target.

Prosecutors say Allen and Williams went inside the motorcycle shop to confirm it was him. According to prosecutors, they then went back to the SUV they had rented, waited for XXXTentacion to emerge, and ambushed him.

The rapper, who pronounced his name “x x x ten-ta-si-yawn”, was a platinum-selling rising star who tackled issues including prejudice and depression in his lyrics. He also drew criticism over bad behavior and multiple arrests, including allegations that he severely beat and abused his girlfriend.

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