The closing arguments in the XXXTentacion murder trial continue

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The murder trial of three men accused of killing South Florida rapper XXXTentacion continued Wednesday at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, with defense attorneys continuing to present their closing arguments in the case.

Detectives arrested Trayvon Newsome, 24, Dedrick Williams, 26, Robert Allen, 26, and Michael Boatwright, 28, for murder, but only Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is a witness in the case. The others go to court.

Detectives say the group ambushed and robbed the rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, outside of RIVA Motorsports in Deerfield Beach just before 4 p.m. on June 18, 2018.

All sides rested their cases Friday. The closing arguments began on Tuesday morning.


Prosecutor Pascale Achille played cell phone videos allegedly taken by the defendants hours after the murder, showing them smiling and dancing while displaying a handful of $100 bills. Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams and Trayvon Newsome all face first-degree murder charges and face life sentences if convicted.

“That’s them. This is her true character. Killers who do what they do within 24 hours of shooting the victim and stealing $50,000 from him,” Achille told the jury as the video played. “Look at how happy they look. Look how excited they look.”

She also played surveillance video from the motorcycle shop, from which two of them were allegedly hiding an SUV, which she says links the men to the murder. And she shared testimony from a fourth man, Robert Allen, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year and testified against his former friends.

George Reres, Newsome’s attorney, pleaded with the jury not to convict his client based on Allen’s testimonies or evidence pertaining to the other two defendants, saying, “He wasn’t there.” He said Allen, a 12-time convict Felon should not be believed and Newsome’s DNA has not been found in any evidence.

He told jurors not to think Newsome is guilty just because the video shows him showing money with the others, arguing he may not even have known where they got it.

“He did some stupid things — he posed with some money,” Reres said. “Association debt is not permitted by law.”

Mauricio Padilla, Williams’ attorney, called Allen a “liar”. He said prosecution witnesses contradicted each other and that the Broward County Sheriff’s Detectives didn’t look at other possible suspects, including Canadian star rapper Drake — he and XXXTentacion had an online feud. He said his client did tattoos and other work that paid him cash, so the video showing him money means nothing.

Padilla also tried to cast doubt on the probative value of the surveillance video, saying that while it could show his customers inside the store and making their way back to the SUV, there are moments when the vehicle is blocked and Williams should have gotten out and can go.

Boatwright’s attorney was scheduled to deliver his closing arguments on Wednesday, followed by Achilles’ rebuttal and subsequent jury deliberations. The process started a month ago.

Copyright 2023 by WPLG – All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. The closing arguments in the XXXTentacion murder trial continue

Sarah Y. Kim

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