The prosecution in the XXXTentacion murder case wants the judge to block one of the defense lawyers’ expert witnesses. However, the accused’s attorneys are saying the judge should permit him to speak and that The State shouldn’t be able to shut down witnesses just because they don’t like what they might say.
The pre-trial back and forth has been explosive, with the prosecutor basically calling the witness an internet gossip.
Broward Assistant State Attorney Alixandra Buckelew does not want Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, a former gang leader, and a convicted felon, to break down what he knows regarding the nuances of gang sociology and psychology in the trial to determine the murder of rapper XXXTentacion, according to Local 10.
As AllHipHop.com has reported, the artist, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, was murdered on June 18, 2018, while leaving Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach. He was driving his 2017 black BMW i8 sports car when he was shot during an armed robbery.
The center of the trial is if the death was gang related and focuses on these four men arrested for the murder: Trayvon Newsome, 24, Dedrick Williams, 26, Robert Allen, 26, and Michael Boatwright, 28.
Allen is the only one to plead guilty to second-degree murder and will serve as a witness in the case against his alleged gang brothers.
Mauricio Padilla, a defense attorney in the case, wants to use De La Cruz to expand the court’s understanding of gang activity and the motivation of the gang violence, believing it will help her case and to highlight the deceased artist’s possible gang affiliation.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, “The gangs you have in Florida, that are like the Crips or the Bloods, are originally from California, so they have the same characteristics, the same nuances, as the ones over there.”
According to the expert, who turned his life around in 1997 and receive his Ph D in 2014 from California State University on how gang members take social control over the schools and neighborhoods in their communities, gangs are an epidemic in the nation. He also alleged that X was a gang member, evidenced by his online beef with Drake.
“He posted a YouTube, I believe it was that if he was killed, Drake would have been the one who did it,” De La Cruz said. However, it was not an original YouTube video, it was an Instagram story that XXXTencion posted when he was alive.
“Allen, I looked at his IG post and he’s throwing the same signs, so that indicates to me that Drake is either a Blood or an associate of the Bloods,” De La Cruz continued, “On a post with DJ Akademiks, he states that he is a shooter for Drake.”
Them the witness caused jaws to drop, linking the Migos and the Florida rapper’s beef to his possible gang activity, saying, “All of these things lead me to believe that there are definitely gang connotations to this killing.”
Buckelew argued this is all stuff he pulled from gossip sites on social media, which is always laced with conspiracy and hype-ups.
“So, you know people through people who know something about a gang that existed?” the prosecutor asked.
It is up to a judge to decide if this witness will be used.