FL v. Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, and Trayvon Newsome
Three men are charged with first degree murder in the death of up-and-coming rapper XXXTentacion. Prosecutors believe Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, and Trayvon Newsome killed the rapper outside a South Florida motorcycle shop in June 2018.
A fourth suspect, Robert Allen, plead guilty in the case to second-degree murder and robbery charges. He’s expected to testify against Boatwright, Williams, and Trayvon Newsome.
The Latest In The Trial:
Drake must face deposition by attorneys for one of the men accused of killing XXXTentacion or face possible “contempt” charges, a judge ruled. Signed by a Florida judge, the order sets the stage for a Zoom deposition of the artist later this month on Feb. 24. Drake skipped a previous deposition date on Jan. 27, and if he does so again, he must appear inside Broward County’s 17th Judicial Circuit Court on Feb 27, for a judge to to determine whether he should be held in contempt of court.
S.C. v. Alexander Murdaugh
Disgraced lawyer Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh is accused of murdering his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, at their hunting lodge in Colleton County. He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Prosecutors believe Murdaugh killed Maggie and Paul in June 2021 to gain sympathy and escape accountability from a string of financial crimes.
The Latest In The Trial:
On Thursday morning, jurors first heard from Alex Murdaugh’s “best friend,” Chris Wilson. The state’s witness previously testified during a side hearing on financial crimes evidence against the defendant – outside of jurors’ ears. Such evidence was broadly allowed to be presented by the state at the beginning of the week.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jim Griffin largely quizzed Wilson on how the defendant seemed on the night his family was murdered by two different kinds of guns. That testimony was largely in service of the defense’s overriding argument that Alex Murdaugh was a committed family man who had no reason to – and simply could not – murder Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in such a brutal fashion.
Prior to testimony from state witness and attorney Mark Tinsley, the defense revealed and complained that the witness had recently donated to the GoFundMe for a previous state witness, Mushelle “Shelley” Smith, the home health care aide who was looking after Alex Murdaugh’s mother on the night of the slayings.
That donation was originally made in Tinsley’s name, but later marked as “anonymous.” Failing to state a legal basis for the objection, defense attorney Phillip Barber said it was a case of “first impression.”
At the time of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh’s deaths, Tinsley was suing multiple members of the Murdaugh family over the 2019 drunken boat crash that took the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Paul Murdaugh was heavily intoxicated and piloting that boat – after allegedly obtaining booze by using his older brother’s identification. Beach’s family recently reached a settlement with the defendant’s oldest son, Buster Murdaugh, in that wrongful death lawsuit.
In the end, Judge Newman declined to strike Tinsley’s testimony and said it “sounds like good fodder for cross examination.”
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