Three men jailed for life over rapper XXXTentacion's death

They will have no chance for parole or early release.

Piece by: BBC NEWS
Entertainment

• The star was shot outside a Florida motorcycle shop while being robbed of $50,000 in cash in 2018.

• The controversial chart-topping 20-year-old rapper quickly rose to fame with two consecutive hit albums.

Three men have been sentenced to life in prison for killing US rapper XXXTentacion during a robbery.
Image: COURTESY

Three men have been sentenced to life in prison for killing US rapper XXXTentacion during a robbery.

The star was shot outside a Florida motorcycle shop while being robbed of $50,000 in cash in 2018.

The controversial chart-topping 20-year-old rapper quickly rose to fame with two consecutive hit albums.

Michael Boatwright, 28, Dedrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, were found guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery last month.

They will have no chance for parole or early release.

Broward County judge Michael Usan told them: "You'll spend every hour and every day and every week and every year of your life in that cell.

"And one day, they'll come and open up that cell in the morning and you will have passed on, and only on that day you would've served your sentence."

Prosecutors linked the rapper's killers to the shooting through surveillance video and phone footage of the men flashing handfuls of $100 notes hours after the ambush.

Footage showed XXXTentacion - real name Jahseh Onfroy - leaving Riva Motorsports with a friend when an SUV vehicle swerved in front of him and blocked his BMW.

Two masked gunmen could be seen confronting the rapper at the driver's window, with one shooting him repeatedly.

They then grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag containing cash XXXTentacion had just withdrawn from the bank, and got back into the SUV and sped away.

The rapper was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Boatwright was identified as the main shooter and Newsome accused of being the other gunman. Williams was accused of driving the SUV and former friend of the rapper, Robert Allen, accused of being inside the vehicle.

Allen pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder, but his sentence was delayed until the conclusion of his accomplices' trial. A date for his sentencing has not yet been set.

During the sentencing, the late rapper's manager Soloman Sabande - giving a statement on behalf of the star's family - said he was murdered "senselessly" and accused his killers of not showing an "ounce of remorse".

He said: "He was a beam of hope for all that new him and his music. But Jahseh's life was not only robbed from us and his family, it was robbed from his extended family of millions of people across the globe...

"Due to the actions of these killers, Jahseh will never get to meet his son let alone raise him."

XXXTentacion first found an audience by uploading songs to the website SoundCloud and had been hailed as a breakthrough talent.

The rapper, whose hit songs include SAD! and Moonlight, quickly rose to prominence following the release of his debut album 17 in 2017.

His personal life was plagued by allegations of domestic violence. He was facing 15 felony charges at the time of his death, including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation and witness tampering.

Following his death, his single Sad! topped the US singles chart and posthumous album Skins reached number one on the US album chart for a second time.

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