Rapper Drake Expected to Give Virtual Deposition in XXXTentacion Murder Trial

Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, will attend a virtual deposition on Friday, Feb. 24, according to Broward County court records released Wednesday

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Canadian rapper Drake will likely be deposed by defense attorneys in the South Florida murder trial of the suspects in the 2018 killing of fellow rapper XXXTentacion.

Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, is expected to attend a virtual deposition on Friday, Feb. 24, according to Broward County court records released Wednesday.

Drake was among a group of hip-hop stars who were listed as potential defense witnesses for the fatal shooting of XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, on June 18, 2018.

An attorney representing Drake was in the courtroom Monday arguing the rapper did not need to give a deposition in the 2018 murder trial of XXXTentacion. NBC 6's Marissa Bagg reports

An attorney for Dedrick Williams, one of the defendants accused in the killing of XXXTentacion, had tried to get Drake to appear at a deposition pre-trial, something the "Nice for What" rapper avoided. Defense attorney Mauricio Padilla cited an Instagram post from XXXTentacion in which he claimed, "If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi [Drake]. I’m snitching RN.” However, the post was quickly deleted and XXXTentacion later retracted that, claiming his account had been hacked.

During opening statements in the trial, Williams' attorney posed a theory that the shooting could have been fueled by a feud between XXXTentacion and Drake, and criticized law enforcement for not investigating that possibility. Prosecutors called the tactic a "Hail Mary" attempt at creating a reasonable double about who was behind the murder.

Attorneys for Drake were in court Monday to argue against the rapper giving a deposition.

“At this point, I think you have a corroborating witness who corroborates that Mr. Graham has nothing to do with this case," said Brad Cohen, one of Drake's attorneys. "Mr. Graham is not listed in any report, Mr. Graham, I don’t believe, has been discussed whatsoever in this case to my knowledge other than rumor and innuendo."

The judge ruled that Drake can be deposed, but said the defense had to submit another subpoena to do so.

Week two of the trial was underway for three men accused of fatally shooting XXXTentacion.

Prosecutors showed pictures posted to social media of the suspects flashing cash after rapper XXXTentacion was killed. NBC 6's Marissa Bagg reports

The rapper was inside his BMW sports car, which had been blocked by an SUV as he pulled out of the Riva Motorsports' parking lot near Fort Lauderdale when he was shot and killed during what authorities said was a robbery.

Michael Boatwright, 28, is accused of being the shooter, while his friend, Trayon Newsome, 24, is accused of being the other gunman. Williams, 26, is accused of being the driver.

Broward Sheriff's Office
Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, Trayvon Newsome

They could all receive life sentences if convicted of first-degree murder. A fourth man who prosecutors say was in the SUV, 26-year-old Robert Allen, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and testified against the other three suspects.

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