Florida judge rules against Drake being deposed in XXXtentacion’s murder trial

Florida judge rules against Drake being deposed in XXXtentacion’s murder trial

A Florida judge has ruled that Drake won’t need to be deposed in relation to the murder of XXXtentacion, after the rapper’s lawyers argued it was “unreasonable” for him to be drawn into the case. 

Last week, Drake was ordered to appear in court in connection with the ongoing murder trial. While prosecutors have never claimed that Drake was implicated in the rapper’s 2018 death, a defence attorney for one of the three murder suspects previously tabled Drake’s alleged involvement as an alternative theory to XXXTentacion’s killing.

Mauricio Padilla, the defence attorney for suspect Dedrick Williams, cited an alleged feud between Drake and XXXtentacion (real name Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy) dating back to 2018. In his opening arguments on February 7, Padilla referenced a social media post from Onfroy that read, “If anyone tries to kill me it was [Drake]. I’m snitching right now.”

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Onfroy later deleted the post and told his followers not “to [entertain] that bullshit on Twitter.” The rapper said the post was part of an apparent hack. Elsewhere, in court filings submitted last December (per Billboard), Padilla referenced Drake’s 2017 song ‘KMT’, which Onfroy believed was stolen from him, according to the court filings.

Drake’s alleged ties to several people with gang affiliations were also referenced in the filings, as well as quotes from a deposition given by Onfroy’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, in which she recalled her concerns over son’s “ongoing battle with Drake.”

The filings led to Drake being ordered to sit for a deposition, which was due to take place on February 24. Yesterday (February 14), however, Judge Michael Usan signed off on an order which voided a subpoena that would have required Drake to be deposed. The ruling sides with the arguments made by Drake’s lawyers on Monday that a subpoena would be “unreasonable and oppressive”.

Arguing against his deposition, Drake’s attorney, Bradford M. Cohen, said: “It is both unreasonable and oppressive to subpoena an out of state party who has not been mentioned in any reports, any investigation, or referenced to have any involvement in this matter. To mandate that he appear for deposition for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”

Cohen went on to say that Padilla’s request for Drake’s deposition was “less for the purpose of discovering relevant evidence and testimony” as it was to “add more layers of celebrity and notoriety to a tragic and unfortunate event.” It is not yet known whether Padilla can attempt to depose Drake again at a future point in Onfroy’s murder trial, which held its day one proceedings on February 7, nearly five years after his death.

Onfroy was killed in a shooting at the age of 20 as he left a car dealership in Miami, Florida in June of 2018.

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