Three men were found guilty on Monday of the 2018 killing of star rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot outside a south Florida motorcycle shop while being robbed of $50,000.
Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, were all found guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery. They will receive mandatory life sentences at a later date.
Jurors deliberated for slightly more than seven days before delivering the verdicts on Monday, marking the end of a trial that lasted about one month. Each convicted perpetrator is expected to receive a mandatory life sentence.
XXXTentacion was visiting a motorcycle shop and was leaving when he was approached by two armed masked men who “demanded property” from him, police said at the time.
At least one of the men shot XXXTentacion during a 45-second struggle. The suspects then grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag full of $50,000 (£42,000) in cash that the rapper had just withdrawn from the bank before fleeing the scene in an SUV.
During the trial, the lawyer for Boatwright argued that his client’s DNA was not found on XXXTentacion’s body. He said the DNA of the two other men did not match either.
“Whoever (XXXTentacion) struggled with is not in this courtroom,”
lawyer Joseph Kimok said during closing arguments
The fourth suspect, Allen, testified against the other three after he pleaded guilty last year. Lawyers for the other suspects have argued that Allen lied about their client’s involvement in the robbery and death.
They also claimed that investigators botched the case and failed to consider other suspects.
Lead prosecutor Pascale Achille, however, said that the lack of DNA evidence was irrelevant, as cell phone data shows the three accused were together near the motorcycle shop at the time of the rapper’s death.