FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Testimony in the murder trial of three men accused of killing South Florida rapper XXXTentacion continued at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.
Detectives arrested Trayvon Newsome, 24, Dedrick Williams, 26, Robert Allen, 26, and Michael Boatwright, 28, for the murder, but only Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is a witness in the case. The others are going to trial.
Detectives say the group ambushed and robbed the rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, shortly before 4 p.m., on June 18, 2018, outside of RIVA Motorsports in Deerfield Beach.
On Friday, the judge ruled that rapper Drake would not have to be deposed.
Defense attorneys tried to tie XXXTentacion’s killing to rumors that Drake and the South Florida rapper had beef with one another.
The defense wanted to question Drake’s involvement or lack thereof.
“At this point it appears to me nothing more than harassment of someone in order to set up some sort of strawman, ‘look over here,’ where there’s no evidence of that,” Judge Michael Usan said. “You are now just trying to drag somebody in who is a celebrity who does to want to be associated with this and the harm to that individual is not inconsequential.”
Jurors heard graphic testimony from the Broward County Medical Examiner.
They also heard from XXXTentacion’s aunt, who had to identify a photo of the slain rapper after his death.
A Broward Sheriff’s Office firearms examiner also testified to forensic evidence related to the bullets and casings found on the scene.
The case seems to be on a faster timeline than expected: Originally expected to last through March, the judge told jurors they can expect to have the case in their hands by mid-March.