MIAMI: A Florida jury yesterday found three young men guilty in the shooting death of the rising rap star known as XXXTentacion in 2018.
The artiste, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was 20 when he was shot to death in broad daylight in Deerfield Beach, near Miami.
XXXTentacion had hit No. 1 on the album chart in 2018 with “?”, but his success proved controversial due to his history of violence. He had been awaiting trial on charges of beating his former girlfriend while she was pregnant.
After a week of deliberations, a jury in Fort Lauderdale found three defendants guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery. They are Dedrick Williams, 26; Trayvon Newsome, 24; and Michael Boatwright, 28.
Sentencing has beens set for April 6. The first-degree murder conviction would send them to prison for life.
On June 18, 2018, a four-wheel drive vehicle cut off XXXTentacion’s car and two people got out and shot him. They stole a bag containing US$50,000 in cash and fled.
Prosecutors said it was Boatwright and Newsome who got out of the car, but Boatwright who shot the rapper. Williams was accused of being the getaway driver and mastermind of the attack.
A fourth suspect, Robert Allen, 26, testified against the other three months after pleading guilty to second degree murder and armed robbery.
At the time of his death, XXXTentacion was seeing his career start to take off, winning fans with work filled with open and dark verse about his suicidal thoughts.