The men who were convicted of murdering XXXTentacion in 2018 will get the rest of their lives to reflect on their actions as Judge Michael Usan sentenced them to life in prison for the killing of the “Moonlight” rapper.
During a short hearing on Thursday, the smugness and smiles were missing from the face of Michael Boatwright, 28, who is accused of being the one to shoot 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 handing down the heft sentence.
“You Sir are a perfect example of why we have in this state a felony murder rule,” Judge Usan addressed fellow gunman Newsome. “I’m pretty sure you having sat through the trial that you did not wake up that morning and say to yourself that ‘I’m gonna kill somebody today and I’m gonna hook up with people who will murder someone but you did go for an armed robbery,” the judge said.
The judge told Newsome that when Newsome took up the weapon to go and rob someone, the death of the victim was a “predictable and foreseeable outcome” to robbing someone. The judge also told Newsome that his anger was misplaced after he lashed out at a co-defendant-turned- state witness Robert Allen during the trial calling him a “b*tch”.
Newsome was sentenced to life in prison with a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence, and on count two, he was sentenced to life in prison. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The judge also told Newsome that he was the perfect example of why there is a law of principals that ensures that any party that was an essential part of the crime and without his actions, the killing would not have happened.
“This court is shocked by your behaviour after the murder. A person who had any measure of human decency or remorse for killing someone would not likely be seen dancing around and filming themselves with stolen money, how proud you were of yourself. You should understand that while you were dancing on that bed and throwing bills on the floor…you should think of that as you tossing down the days, weeks and months of your life…the very next day when you went to spend that blood money on t-shirts and sneakers, you revealed to the court the value you placed on the human life that was taken,” Judge Usan addressed Williams.
Williams is alleged to be the mastermind behind the crime, who picked XXX as their robbery victim and even convinced the others to participate in the robbery. Williams is sentenced to life in prison on both charges of 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, because 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 did not hold back as he addressed Boatwright, who was caught on video firing the shot that killed the 20-year-old rapper.
“the day when you stood there and fired that weapon, you didn’t just end one life. You effectively ended five lives including your own,” Judge Usan says to Boatwright, who was noticeably straightfaced during the hearing, a very different demeanor from weeks ago where he blew kisses to the defendant’s family and was seen smiling when key evidence was being given.
“You will spend the rest of your life in prison. From here, you will go and be placed in a cell that has a stainless-steel slab attached to a wall- that’s your bed and next to it is a stainless sink and stainless toilet- that’s your ‘furniture’ that you have in that cell. 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 and you’ll have passed on and only on that day will you have served your sentence,” the judge said.
Boatwright is also to serve life in prison for discharging the firearm and killing XXXTentacion, and for the robbery with a firearm charge, he will serve life in Florida state prison. His sentences run consecutive and not concurrent like his co-defendants.
All three defendants received credit for 1732 days marking their arrest and detention as the trial went on.
In the meantime, XXXTentacion’s entertainment manager Solomon Sobande took the stand to give a statement on behalf of the rapper’s family. Sobande said when the family got the call that XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, was senselessly murdered, it changed their lives forever.
“A young man’s life was cut short at the tender age of 20. A young man well into his journey of becoming a man and leaving the world in a better place than he found it. We sat through the entire trial without seeing the defendants display an ounce of remorse for taking Jahseh’s life. Smiling at us, blowing kisses, waving, without even taking into consideration that you not only killed a son but you killed a father,” Sobande said.
“Due to the actions of these killers, Jahseh will never get to meet his son let alone raise him. Generations of our family were affected by this senseless killing. this is a loss we will never truly recover from. We will never get to see Jahseh live to achieve his full potential, we will never get to watch him grow old, and we will never get to watch him be a father. Jahseh was not spared his final moments and I hope the court finds it appropriate to not spare the lives of any of the defendants,” Sobande added.
XXXTentacion’s grandaunt, Melanie Jones, also gave a statement on behalf of the rapper’s great-grandmother, who helped to raise him.
“Jahseh was loved by his family and friends all over this world and you guys murdered him and left a gaping hole in each person’s heart. Each time I attended court and looked over at you, especially you Michael Boatwright, I saw you smirking and you showed no remorse…you guys showed no empathy for the family you destroyed with your evil, callous deeds,” Jones said.
Jones questioned why the defendants had to kill the rapper instead of just robbing him. She did not hold back in her fiery and raging statement as she told the defendants that she wanted them to get the death penalty, but since that was off the table, “whichever hole you are sent, I hope it is hell and you rot there.”