Prosecutors bolstered their case with damning cellphone video evidence during their closing arguments in the murder trial of rapper XXXTentacion, who was killed and robbed in a shooting ambush in Florida in 2018. It was the latest video footage being used as evidence against the three men accused of murdering the rapper, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy.
On Tuesday, Broward County Assistant State Attorney Pascale Achille played a video showing the suspects — Michael Boatwright, Trayvon Newsome and Dedrick Williams — depicted as being “happy” and dancing shortly after they allegedly killed the chart-topping rapper and robbed him of tens of thousands of dollars in cash in the shooting, the Associated Press reported.
“This is who they are. This is their real character. Killers that within 24 hours after shooting the victim dead and stealing $50,000 from him, this is what they do,” Achille told the jury while the video played in court. “Look at how happy they look. Look at how excited they look.”
The suspects are charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm. If convicted, each could be sentenced to life in prison.
The murder trial
Prosecutors wasted no time presenting video evidence in the case.
The murder trial began Feb. 8, and days later jurors were presented with the startling surveillance camera footage that captured the late hip-hop star’s tragic shooting.
During opening statements, the jury heard the testimony of Robert Allen, who already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against the other three suspects. Allen, 26, testified that he and Boatwright, 27, Williams, 26, and Newsome, 24, planned to carry out a massive robbing spree before the alleged murder occurred.
In 2018, XXXTentacion was shot and killed outside of the RIVA Motorsports shop in Broward County, Florida. Footage obtained by CBS Miami showed the young rap star being stopped in his BMW by another vehicle as he tried to exit the dealership.
Two men, one of them armed with a long rile, swarmed around the hip-hop star’s vehicle, while another went into his car and demanded the rapper’s jewelry and designer bag.
According to reports, the late rapper was allegedly carrying $50,000 in cash in a Louis Vuitton satchel at the time of the incident. Sources say he was going to use the money to purchase a motorbike from the shop.
Armed and dressed in camouflaged attire, Boatwright, Newsome and Allen covered their faces with masks to conceal their identity, but Williams did not have a mask with him at the time. The suspects drove to the RIVA Motorsports to purchase a mask for Williams when they just so happened to run across XXXTentacion.
Allen said they were able to identify the rapper by his vehicle parked outside. Eager to confirm their suspicion, Allen and Williams entered the store to see the rapper shopping with an unidentified Black man.
After spending several minutes in the store, the two allegedly reconvened with Boatwright and Newsome in the car and came up with their strategy to rob the rapper.
Allen said he knew that the robbery was a bad idea
During the heist, Allen said he did not get out of the car because he knew the store’s surveillance camera had already captured his identity and that it could be used against him if the robbery went awry.
“I knew there was a good chance I would get caught,” he testified. “I did not want to get arrested.”
According to PEOPLE, Allen recalled telling the group, that he didn’t think it was “a good idea” to carry out the robbery given the store’s heavy presence of security cameras. He also accused Boatwright of firing the three shots that ultimately killed the rapper.
Following the shooting, Allen said that he and his accomplices crashed the vehicle they rented once they learned about XXXTentacion’s death.
He also testified that each of the men received $15,000 of the stolen money, but he “only received $5,000 because he stayed in the vehicle during the robbery.”
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