IG news Update,
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ,
Jurors in the trial of three men accused of killing rising rap star XXXTentacion outside a motorcycle dealership nearly five years ago failed to reach a verdict on Friday, meaning they will resume next week.
The jury deliberated for about five hours on Friday, bringing the total to about 10 hours after receiving the case late Wednesday. The panel of 12 will return to the court on Monday.
He made his first request to Circuit Judge Michael Uson on Friday, asking to see a transcript of the statement made by alleged ringleader Dedrick Williams to detectives following his arrest. None were presented at the trial, so they were told to rely on their recollections about what the detectives had testified about.
Accused shooter Michael Boatwright, 28, Williams, 26, and accused second gunman Trayvon Newsom, 24, have all been charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. All face a mandatory life sentence if convicted. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
A fourth man, 26-year-old Robert Allen, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and testified against his former friends.
XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, left Riva Motorsports in suburban Fort Lauderdale with a friend on June 18, 2018, when his BMW was blocked by an SUV that swerved in front.
Surveillance video showed two masked gunmen appeared and confronted the 20-year-old singer at the driver’s window, and one shot him repeatedly. He then grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag containing the $50,000 that XXXTentacion had just retrieved from the bank, got back in the SUV and fled. The friend was not harmed.
Allen testified that the men had gone out to commit a robbery that day and had gone to a motorcycle shop to buy Williams’ mask. There he saw the rapper and decided to make him his target. Allen and Williams go inside the shop to confirm that it is him.
They then went back to the SUV they had rented, waited for XXXTentacion to emerge and ambushed him, according to testimony. Prosecutors say surveillance video and cellphone data from the dealership link the men to the scene. They also showed gamblers videos that the men allegedly posted on social media that night, showing handfuls of $100 bills.
The men’s lawyers said Allen was lying and that their DNA was not found on the artist. Lawyers for some of the men said that while the videos showing the money were “silly”, they do not prove that their clients were actually involved in the shooting and robbery.
The rapper, who pronounced his name as “X X X Ten-ta-si-YAWN,” was a platinum-selling rising star who tackled issues including prejudice and depression in his lyrics. He also drew criticism over bad behavior and multiple arrests, including allegations that he severely beat and abused his girlfriend.