The men convicted of XXXTentacion’s murder in 2018 will have the rest of their lives to reflect on their actions after Judge Michael Usan sentenced them to life in prison for the “Moonlight” rapper’s murder.
During a brief hearing Thursday, the smugness and smile were missing from Michael Boatwright, 28, who is accused of being the one who shot and killed XXXTentacion during a robbery. He and co-defendants Deidrick Williams, 26, and Trayvon Newsome, 24, were all sentenced to life in prison. Judge Usan admonished the defendants before imposing the heavy sentence.
“You, sir, are a perfect example of why we have a felony murder rule in this state,” Justice Usan said to fellow judge Newsome. “I’m pretty sure after the trial you didn’t wake up that morning and say to yourself, ‘I’m going to kill someone today and I’m going to meet people who are going to kill someone, but you left because of an armed robbery’.” said the judge.
The judge told Newsome that when Newsome took up arms to rob someone, the victim’s death was a “predictable and predictable result” of the robbing. The judge also told Newsome his anger was misplaced after he lashed out at a co-defendant-turned-witness, Robert Allen, during the trial, calling him a “bitch.”
Newsome was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 10 years and on count two he was sentenced to life in prison. The sets are to be run simultaneously.
The judge also told Newsome that he was the perfect example of why there is a principle of law ensuring that any party who was an integral part of the crime and without his actions the murder would not have happened.
“This court is shocked by your conduct after the murder. A person who had some measure of human decency or remorse for killing someone probably wouldn’t be seen dancing around and filming themselves with stolen money, how proud you were of yourself. You should understand that while you’ve been dancing on that bed and throwing bills on the floor, you should think about this as you throw away the days, weeks, and months of your life… the next day you were going to spend that blood money T- Shirts and sneakers, you have revealed to the court the value you place on human lives taken,” Judge Usan said to Williams.
Williams is said to be the mastermind behind the crime, who singled out XXX as the robbery victim and even convinced the others to take part in the robbery. Williams is sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm.
The judge clarified that a life sentence means no possibility of parole no matter how old you are, since Florida has abolished parole as part of prison sentences.
Judge Usan also addressed Boatwright as someone who turned a robbery into a murder.
Judge Usan didn’t hold back as he addressed Boatwright, who was caught on video firing the shot that killed the 20-year-old rapper.
“The day you stood there and fired that gun, you didn’t just end a life. You effectively ended five lives including your own,” Judge Usan tells Boatwright, who was noticeably direct during the hearing, a very different behavior from weeks earlier when he blew kisses to the defendant’s family and was seen smiling as key evidence was presented became.
“You will spend the rest of your life in prison. From here you are taken to a cell that has a stainless steel plate attached to the wall – this is your bed and next to it a stainless steel sink and toilet – these are your “furniture” that you have in this cell. You will spend every hour and every day and every week and every year of your life in this cell and one day they will come and open this cell and you will have died and only on that day will you have served your punishment”, said the judge.
Boatwright is also serving life in prison for discharging the firearm and killing XXXTentacion, and for the robbery with a firearms charge he will serve life in Florida State Penitentiary. His sentences run consecutively and not simultaneously like his co-defendants.
All three defendants were given 1,732 days during the trial, which marked their arrest and imprisonment.
Meanwhile, XXXTentacion’s entertainment manager Solomon Sobande took the witness stand to make a statement on behalf of the rapper’s family. Sobande said when the family received the call that XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, had been senselessly murdered, it changed their lives forever.
“A young man’s life was ended at the tender age of 20. A young man on his way to becoming a man who will leave the world a better place than he found it. We sat through the entire trial without seeing that the defendants showed an ounce of remorse for taking Jahseh’s life. Smile at us, blow us kisses, wave, without even considering that you not only killed a son, but also a father,” said Sobande.
“Because of the actions of these killers, Jahseh will never know his son, let alone raise him. Generations of our family have been affected by this senseless killing. It’s a loss we’ll never really recover from. We’ll never see Jahseh live to reach his full potential, we’ll never see him grow old, and we’ll never see him become a father. Jahseh was not spared his final moments and I hope the court will see fit not to spare the life of one of the defendants,” Sobande added.
XXXTentacion’s great-aunt, Melanie Jones, also issued a statement on behalf of the rapper’s great-grandmother, who helped raise him.
“Jahseh was loved by his family and friends around the world and you murdered him leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of every person. Every time I was in court and I looked over at you, especially you Michael Boatwright, I saw you grin and you showed no remorse…You showed no sympathy for the family you destroyed with your evil, callous acts,” said Jones.
Jones questioned why the defendants had to kill the rapper instead of just robbing him. She didn’t hold back in her fiery and angry testimony as she told the defendants that she wanted them to get the death penalty, but since that was off the table: “Whatever hole you’re sent to, I hope that’s it hell and you rot there.”
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