The XXXTentacion murder trial is currently in day 25, with the last seven days consisting of jury deliberations. Yet, they don’t seem any closer to a verdict.
The XXXTentacion murder trial for three of the four men accused of being involved in the murder of the rapper during a robbery back in 2018 officially started with jury selection back on Jan. 18. Shooting suspect Michael Boatwright, and his accused accomplices, Dedrick Devonshay Williams and Trayvon Newsome, are fighting first-degree murder and armed robbery charges in connection to XXXTentacion’s killing and face life in prison if found guilty. A fourth suspect, Robert Allen, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last summer.
Opening statements and testimony began on Feb. 7 and the jury has seen tons of evidence, including video of the crime itself and video of XXXTentacion withdrawing the $50,000 that he was robbed of before he was shot. They’ve heard testimony from the rapper’s step-uncle who was in the car during the robbery, testimony from Robert Allen confessing to the crime, testimony from Dedrick Williams’ former girlfriend who said Williams told her he was present at the shooting, testimony from the man who took the photo of XXX after he’d been shot as well as mounds of phone and photo evidence.
As for the defense, they offered theories of possible beef with Drake and other rappers being the reason for XXXTentacion’s death and pointed out the lack of DNA evidence connecting the suspects to the murder.
On March 8, the jury was given their instructions and began deliberating. For the past seven days they have juggled the decision of whether or not the trio are innocent or guilty. In total, the group has spent 26 hours and 17 minutes in deliberation and have frequently requested follow-up information. For perspective, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, where Rittenhouse was on trial for shooting three men during a protest in Kenosha, Wis., took 24 hours to deliberate, while the Harvey Weinstien rape case deliberation lasted 41 hours. Rittenhouse was acquitted, while Weinstein received a split verdict. It only took a jury two days to find Tory Lanez guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion last December.
The longest criminal case in U.S. history was Allen v. City of Oakland, which involved three former Oakland, Calif. police officers nicknamed “the Riders,” who were charged with assaulting suspects, planting drugs and obstruction of justice conspiracy. It took the jury four months to reach a verdict in that case.
So, what’s the hold up in this trial? One attorney with knowledge of the case tells XXL the jury may have questions about the prosecution’s evidence.
“I think that there was some questions regarding the evidence and experts that the prosecution provided. I think that the prosecution could have done a more thorough job with the phone expert and DNA expert,” the attorney says.
“Also, most juries have a tough time convicting everyone of the same thing when some are shooters and some are drivers. That could also lead to the length of time they are deliberating.”
On March 16, the jury was sent home after day seven and won’t return until Monday (March 20), as fans continue to wait anxiously to see if there will be justice for Jah.
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