The jury in XXXTentacion murder has retired for the weekend after nearly 24 hours of deliberation. Everything you need to know
The 12-man jury in the XXXTentacion murder trial has not arrived at a verdict more than a week after they first retired to deliberate on the fate of three young men accused of robbing and killing the rapper in 2018.
The jury first went off to deliberate on Wednesday but went home after spending two hours deliberating dozens of pieces of evidence proffered by prosecutors who say that three suspects Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm.
In the last week, the jury deliberated for over 25 hours each day, but it appears their verdict might not be close as they asked to promptly leave at 5 pm every day, and on Thursday, still with no verdict in near sight, the jury requested Friday (March 17) off and for then to return on Monday (March 20).
Family members of XXXTentacion have been to court since the jury began deliberations, but one day rolled into eight days so far. Fans of the rapper have also shared their frustration, but there is little that can be done to ensure that the outcome of the trial (verdict, either guilty or not guilty) and the defendant’s rights to a fair trial are not impeded.
In the last few days, the jury has asked questions about the evidence and even requested to see back all of the videos- some of which had to be narrowed down as guided by the judge.
On Wednesday, the judge rejected several requests of the jury, which included a request for them to see the social media of the defendants and for them to use GPS and maps to measure distance. The judge rejected both requests telling jurors to stick to the evidence in discovery which they have and that they cannot introduce ultra vires evidence, that is, using their own maps and calculations for whatever reason.
Earlier in the week, the jurors requested to see Boatwright and Williams’ text messages the day of and the day before the murder as well as videos, photos, or screenshots of the same time frame.
Reporters from Law & Crime covering the trial live said there were more than 1,000 pieces of evidence. Texts were alone 959. These requests have added hours to the verdict deliberation.
During the trial, prosecutors also brought a fourth co-defendant, Robert Allen, who took a plea deal to second-degree murder in exchange for testifying against his friends.
During his testimony, Allen gave an eyewitness account of the events that happened before the murder. Allen told the court that he and the men were in a car rented for the purpose of driving around and robbing random people to make a quick buck. He also shared that he was with Williams when they stopped at Riva Motorsports to buy a mask to carry out their deeds when Williams spotted XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, as well as his BMW car, which he later confirmed was the rapper by checking his Instagram page.
From there, Williams speedily hatched a planned ambush and robbed the rapper. The events on surveillance footage corroborated Allen’s testimony as to the time they were in Riva, how much time they spent in there, and the time they left and waited across the street, thinking that cameras won’t spot them.
Allen also described in believable detail the robbery which Williams initiated by persuading Boatwright and Newsome, who were the alleged gunmen. The robbery is also caught on nearby surveillance footage showing Boatwright described by prosecutors as the “tall” gunman and Newsome as the “short” gunman approaching the car, and the taller gunman have a struggle with XXX before he stands up and pumps two shots into the rapper’s chest.
The prosecutor also shared evidence- hundreds of texts, videos from their respective social media accounts, website history such as Boatwright’s google search for “accessory to murder,” and videos by Boatwright, Allen, and Williams all flossing the money they robbed XXXTentacion of- $50,000 cash which they split up in three equal shares for the three while Allen received $5,000.
As for their defense, none of the men opted to take the stand, although they have no evidentiary burden in law to prove anything. The prosecution has to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. One defendant, Williams’ attorney, did put up a defense that pointed fingers at another person- Canadian rapper Drake who had a beef with XXX before his death in 2018. The judge later denied his request to force the rapper to sit for a deposition in the trial since the defense did not offer credible information that would lead one to believe some other person was responsible for the murder.
Boatwright’s lawyer also put up a defense that seemingly said his client did not murder the rapper, that he was innocent of the charges, and that while the videos of his playing with money and the google search about accessory to murder looked bad, that’s not what happened. The attorney said his client innocently participated in the video flossing money, and after he found out about the rapper’s death, he realized the video might have incriminated him.
Newsome’s lawyer didn’t offer much for a defense.
Download Latest Naija Dj Mix 2023 on Naijahotstars.com