Deliberations in the trial of three men accused of killing rap artist XXXTentacion during a robbery outside a Florida motorcycle store in 2018 got underway on Wednesday after the defense of the alleged shooter claimed DNA evidence exonerated his client and another man.
In his final closing statement, defense attorney Joseph Kimok argued that although the artist struggled with his assailants before being shot and DNA was discovered on the body and on a stolen necklace, the DNA wasn’t that of his client, 28-year-old Michael Boatwright, who was charged with first-degree murder. Trayvon Newsome, the alleged second gunman, is only 24 years old, while Dedrick Williams, the alleged getaway driver and ringleader, is 26.
This year, Robert Allen, a fourth guy, pled guilty to second-degree murder and gave evidence against his former companions. His involvement in the $50,000 robbery and murder, according to the lawyers for all three individuals, is a fiction, they claim. Additionally, they claim that the Broward County sheriff’s investigators mishandled the investigation by ignoring other potential suspects like Canadian rapper Drake, with whom XXXTentacion had an online fight.
If found guilty, Boatwright, Williams, and Newsome would all be sentenced to life in prison. The death penalty was not sought by the prosecution. Although the three are being tried together, the jury must render a verdict on each separately and may convict just one or two of the three.