A 22-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with murder, days after the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership in Florida.
Dedrick Devonshay Williams was taken into custody in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Wednesday shortly before 7 p.m after a traffic stop, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Thursday.
Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, 20, who went by the stage name pronounced “Ex Ex Ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” was gunned down Monday, bringing a violent end to a brief music career that was marked by controversy and arrests.
Williams, 22, is charged with first-degree murder without premeditation, a probation violation and for not having a valid driver’s licence. He was being held without bond in the Broward County Jail on Thursday. He was scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon, according to Broward County prosecutors.
An arrest report said Williams was alone in the silver 2004 Honda and driving without a licence when he was spotted by an officer in Pompano Beach. He was taken into custody on an active felony warrant.
A Florida judge has ordered Williams to be held without bond. Williams appeared before Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica via video Thursday afternoon. He wore an orange jumpsuit and didn’t speak during the minutes-long hearing.
Authorities said XXXTentacion was ambushed by two suspects. They did not give a motive in announcing Williams’ arrest but had previously said the shooting was an apparent robbery attempt.
After Williams’ arrest, Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said homicide detectives also were seeking additional suspects.
Gina Carter, the public information officer for Broward County Sheriff’s Office, tweeted that Williams had been arrested on Wednesday in the city of Pompano Beach.
XXXTentacion’s lawyer, David Bogenschutz, said Tuesday that investigators told him the rapper had visited a bank shortly before the shooting and possibly withdrew cash to buy a motorcycle at Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach.
Court records show Williams has been charged previously with several felonies, including grand theft auto, domestic violence, cocaine possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It does not appear, however, that he has ever done prison time for these charges and some of them were dropped. Williams does not appear in the Florida Department of Corrections offender database, but was on probation for the auto-theft conviction.
Williams was scheduled to appear Monday before a different judge regarding the probation violation charge that stems from a 2014 grand theft auto case.
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“Jahseh Onfroy — known worldwide as XXXTentacion — tragically passed away from a gunshot wound in Deerfield, Florida,” reps for XXXTentacion said Tuesday. “It is with great sadness that the news is confirmed in this official statement by his team — said manager Solomon Sobande. In deference to his family, friends, and loved ones and in light of further investigation, we ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
At the time of his death, XXXTentacion was awaiting trial on charges including domestic battery by strangulation and witness tampering.
In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he allegedly attacked his girlfriend who was pregnant at the time. Later, he faced more charges.
XXXTentacion, who sported dreadlocks and facial tattoos, was a rising star. He notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort ? and had a top-10 hit with Sad!
“Would I change anything about my journey?” he said in an interview with the Miami New Times earlier this month. “F**k, no.”
— With files from the Associated Press