US

Three men found guilty of rapper’s murder

Three men have been found guilty of the murder of American rapper XXXTentacion.

The 20-year-old singer-songwriter, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was fatally shot while being robbed outside a South Florida motorbike shop in 2018.

On Monday, Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, were all found guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery.

They will receive mandatory life sentences at a later date.

During the month-long trial, prosecutors linked the men to the shooting outside Riva Motorsports in suburban Fort Lauderdale, where they robbed the rapper of $50,000 on 18 June 2018.

He had left the motorbike shop with a friend when a vehicle swerved in front of his BMW and blocked him in.

Surveillance video showed two masked gunmen emerging and confronting the rapper at his driver’s window.

One of the gunmen shot him repeatedly before the group grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag containing cash that XXXTentacion had withdrawn from the bank.

The group then fled the scene.

Jury members were shown CCTV video taken inside and outside the store, plus phone videos the robbers took that showed them flashing fistfuls of $100 bills hours after the killing.

A fourth man – a former friend of the defendants who said he took part in the robbery – also gave evidence against them in the trial.

Robert Allen said the men set out that day to commit robberies and went to the motorcycle shop to buy Williams a mask, when they spotted the rapper and decided to make him their target.

Read more:
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Allen and Williams went inside the shop to confirm it was him.

They then went back to the vehicle they had rented, waited for XXXTentacion to emerge and ambushed him, Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale was told.

Allen pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder. He has not been sentenced pending the conclusion of this trial.

The rapper, who pronounced his name “Ex-ex-ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” was a platinum-selling rising star who tackled issues including prejudice and depression in his songs.

He also drew criticism over multiple arrests, including charges that he severely beat and abused his girlfriend.

Following his death, his mother, Cleopatra Bernard, revealed that he was to become a father, writing on her Instagram account: “He left us a final gift.”

It is not known who the mother of the child is.

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