XXXTentacion case: Drake’s legal team asks judge to disallow order for deposition

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In a motion filed over the weekend, an attorney for rapper Aubrey “Drake” Graham said his client should not have to appear for a deposition related to the murder trial for three men accused of killing rapper XXXTentacion, and asked the judge to quash an order that would require him to do so.

After XXXTentacion — whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy — was killed, speculation began running wild about who was behind the slaying. Eventually, the Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested four men: Dedrick Williams, Trayvon Newsome, Michael Boatwright, and Robert Allen.

Prosecutors say the four men had intended to ride around Broward County on June 18, 2018 to rob people and just so happened to see Onfroy at Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach.

Allen pled guilty to second-degree murder back in August and is now acting as a witness in the first-degree murder trial for Williams, Newsome and Boatwright.

But, at the time of the killing, some fans postulated that the robbery and murder were somehow linked to “beefs” Onfroy had with other rappers, including Drake and the group Migos.

Onfroy’s mother did say under oath that, at the time of her son’s death, she had been scared for his safety because of the conflicts with the other rappers, and wanted him to bring security with him at the time.

Still, prosecutors said they have no reason to believe Drake or Migos were involved in the murder and that this was a crime of opportunity, not a part of a larger plot to kill the young rapper.

During motion hearings before the murder trial began, an attorney for Williams, Mauricio Padilla, did mention several times that he wanted to depose Drake to dig into this potential angle for a defense and asked the court to help compel the rapper to do so.

Judge Michael Usan was hesitant to provide help, but did say Padilla could serve Drake with paperwork calling him for a deposition, and that he would consider an order if he ignored the properly served paperwork.

Then, on Wednesday, Usan issued an order stating, “as a result of Aubrey Drake Graham’s failure to appear for the deposition set on Jan. 27, 2023, Aubrey Drake Graham shall appear for deposition at 5:00pm EST on Friday, Feb. 24th, 2023,” and if he ignored the deposition again, he would have to show up in the Fort Lauderdale courtroom on Monday, Feb. 27 to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court.

In response, an attorney for Drake filed the motion to set aside that court order, saying the paperwork was not served properly and pointing to the fact that there is no evidence “to substantiate the assertion that (Drake) in any way contributed to, had knowledge of, or participated in the alleged incident.” 

It continues by saying that mandating “he appear for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”

Drake’s attorney, Brad Cohen, was scheduled to appear in court Monday morning to address the motion.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.