Robert Allen, one of four men charged in the murder of XXXTentacion, says he was hesitant to carry out the attack and urged his co-defendants to abandon the plan.
The 26-year-old made the claim while on the witness stand Wednesday, less than five years after XXXTentacion was fatally shot in Deerfield, Florida. Allen and his co-defendants—Michael Boatwright, 27; Dedrick Williams, 26; and Trayvon Newsome, 24—were arrested just weeks after the incident and charged with first degree murder with a firearm and armed robbery. Allen pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder back in August, and agreed to testify against the other defendants.
On Wednesday, Allen was asked to detail the events leading up to XXXTentacion’s murder. The defendant said he, Boatwright, Newsome, and Williams were together when the latter noticed the rapper enter RIVA Motorsports. He told the prosecutor Williams then pointed to a BMW parked outside the shop, and informed them it belonged to XXXTentacion.
Prosecutor Pascale Achille asked Allen how Williams knew what the artist was driving. Allen said Williams pulled up a picture of the car on Instagram, but couldn’t recall the details of the image.
Allen said Boatwright and Newsome then told him to go into the store with Williams to confirm XXXTentacion was inside. Allen said he agreed to go in, but wasn’t aware of any plans. The defendant told the court he entered the store and saw XXX with a Black male. He said he didn’t think the victim noticed him.
Allen said he tried to call Boatwright on the phone after Williams initiated the plan to rob the rapper; however, Boatwright didn’t answer. The defendant said he was in the store for five to 10 minutes. During that time, Williams allegedly purchased a black mask. They left the store moments later, while XXXTentacion was still inside. Allen claimed he, Williams, the other two defendants reconvened in the vehicle. It was at that time Allen allegedly told the men he didn’t think it was a “good idea” to rob XXXTentacion, as he was concerned about the surveillance cameras he had spotted. Allen claimed Boatwright and Newsome also expressed hesitancy, which prompted Williams to ask if they were “scared.”
The prosecutor then asked how Boatwright responded: “[Boatwright] said, ‘All right, we’re gonna get [XXXTentacion].’” Allen said Newsome responded similarly.
Allen told the court that Newsome and Boatwright agreed they would get out of the vehicle to confront XXXTentacion, as he refused to have any part in it and Williams was the designated getaway driver. He said Williams drove the car to a nearby lot to make it appear as though they left the vicinity. Achille then asked if Allen was aware that RIVA’s security cameras extended across the street to where they had parked. Allen simply responded “no.”
The defendant went on to say that Williams came up with a plan to block the rapper off with their car. The men allegedly waited for about 10 minutes before they saw XXXTentacion get into his driver’s seat while the other unidentified man entered on the passenger side.
“As they’re driving, coming out of RIVA Motorsports, Dedrick [Williams] blocks them off, and Michael Boatwright and Trayvon Newsome get out and rob them,” Allen said, adding that Newsome and Boatwright got out of the car “very fast.”
He told the prosecutor he witnessed Boatwright point his rifle at XXXTentacion while Newsome began taking the rapper’s necklace. Allen said the passenger in XXX’s vehicle had seemingly fled. He could not hear or see how XXXTentacion was reacting during the ambush. Newsome then allegedly grabbed a Louis Vuitton bag from the back of XXXTentacion’s car, right before Boatwright opened fire on the victim “two or three times.” He said Newsome and Boatwright ran back to their car and Williams sped off.
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