XXXTentacion’s friend describes rapper’s fatal shooting


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A household friend of the rapper XXXTentacion broke down Tuesday as he instructed jurors how he and the rapper had been ambushed by armed robbers as they drove away from a motorbike store, how he fled in worry after which heard the gunshots that killed the rising star.

Leonard Kerr’s testimony highlighted the opening day within the trial of three males accused of fatally shooting XXXTentacion on June 18, 2018, inside his BMW sports activities automotive, which had been blocked by an SUV as Kerr and the rapper pulled out of the Riva Motorsports’ parking zone close to Fort Lauderdale.

Two males jumped out with weapons, Kerr stated. He stated the taller man pointed his weapon at him and instructed him to not get out of the automotive, punctuating his command with a curse phrase. The opposite man was attempting to tug the rapper’s gold chain from his neck. Kerr stated he may hear XXXTentacion asking, “What’s this for?” At that time, Kerr stated, he determined to flee, pushing the button that opened the passenger door.

XXXTentacion performs during the Rolling Loud Festival

“If I run, I can get shot, however I can stay. If I sit….” Kerr stated, his voicing trailing off till he stopped to regain his composure.

Kerr stated when he appeared again, the taller man was pointing his gun at XXXTentacion, and he stated he heard not less than two loud bangs. The boys then obtained again into the SUV and sped off, taking with them the $50,000 the rapper had in his designer bag.

Michael Boatwright, 28, is accused of being the shooter, whereas his friend, Trayon Newsome, 24, is accused of being the opposite gunman. Dedrick Williams, 26, is accused of being the motive force. They might all obtain life sentences if convicted of first-degree homicide. A fourth man who prosecutors say was within the SUV, 26-year-old Robert Allen, pleaded responsible final 12 months to second-degree homicide and is about to testify in opposition to his former mates.

Throughout opening statements earlier Tuesday, the jurors heard divergent theories in regards to the shooting. A theft gone awry, in keeping with prosecutors. In line with the protection, it may have been a feud between XXXTentacion and the megastar Drake, however they are saying detectives refused to research that risk.

Prosecutor Pascale Achille instructed jurors that Boatwright, Newsome, Williams and Allen, set out that day to commit armed robberies. Allen and Williams went contained in the bike store to purchase masks, she stated.

Leonard Kerr demonstrates the attack during the XXXTentacion murder trial at the Broward County Courthouse

There, they occurred upon XXXTentacion, who, in keeping with Kerr, had the $50,000 he had simply gotten from the financial institution hanging out of his bag. The pair acknowledged him, and the group seized upon the chance, deciding to rob him as he left, Achille stated. Boatwright shot him a number of instances “with none provocation,” she stated.

To various levels, the defendants are linked to the shooting by surveillance video and cellphone places, and all are implicated by Allen’s anticipated testimony, Achille stated. Then there are the social media pictures of among the males flashing the cash posted that night time, she stated.

“They go on social media and begin bragging that they’ve this inflow of money,” Achille stated. “They flash it prefer it’s Christmas Day.”

To the boys’s attorneys, the defendants are victims of Robert Allen’s lies and the failure of detectives to research XXXTentacion’s feud with Drake — XXXTentacion as soon as stated on social media that if he ever wound up useless, the Canadian rapper could be the trigger. He later retracted that. One other rapper had additionally made threats in opposition to XXXTentacion.

They stated that with the rapper’s slaying coming simply 4 months after the slaying of 17 individuals at close by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland, the Broward Sheriff’s Workplace was below excessive political stress to resolve the case rapidly.

“For Broward County, for everybody concerned, this was a nightmare,” stated Mauricio Padilla, Williams’ legal professional.

That’s why they needed no half with investigating a celeb, he stated.

Fans leave items at a memorial outside the XXXTentacion Funeral & Fan Memorial

Prosecutors say there isn’t a proof linking Drake to the shooting, and Williams is clearly seen within the retailer’s surveillance video, recognizable by his distinctive facial tattoos. He was additionally recognized by one of many clerks. Padilla conceded Williams was current within the retailer however didn’t say how he would clarify that.

Joseph Kimok, Boatwright’s legal professional, additionally pointed the finger at a 3rd man because the attainable shooter — a friend Williams was seen speaking to contained in the bike retailer simply earlier than the shooting who has the identical construct as his consumer. He alluded that the friend may have gotten into the SUV Williams was driving outdoors the view of surveillance cameras. He stated the proof will present that Boatwright was asleep on the residence he shared together with his grandmother on the time of the shooting.

“At no level (within the surveillance movies) will you see Mr. Boatwright, as a result of he wasn’t there,” Kimok stated.

Sure, a cellphone linked to him was close to the shop — however that was a group telephone utilized by a number of males, he stated. And sure, he “very stupidly posed” with cash that night time — however that cash was Allen’s, not Boatwright’s, Kimok stated.

Newsome’s legal professional additionally denied that his consumer was current.

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