Alleged XXXTentacion Gunman Michael Boatwright Arrested | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Alleged Gunman in XXXTentacion Murder Arrested

Michael Boatwright (left) and XXXTentacion
Michael Boatwright (left) and XXXTentacion Broward Sheriff's Office / Alex Markow
Michael Boatwright, a 22-year-old Broward resident, was arrested on July 5 on marijuana possession and probation-violation charges. Boatwright has been sitting inside the Broward County Jail ever since — and it now looks like he might wind up staying there for quite a while, since he was charged this morning with the premeditated murder of rapper XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy.

The Broward Sheriff's Office said this morning that police believe Boatwright was one of two alleged gunmen in the rapper's June 18 murder, which by all accounts appears to have been a robbery gone awry. BSO alleges that a team of people was involved in the killing: Three days after the shooting, the sheriff's office arrested Dedrick D. Williams, also 22, on first-degree murder and grand-theft charges. Police are also looking for a third person of interest, 22-year-old Robert Allen, who remains at large, as does the second alleged gunman, whom BSO has not yet named.

In the meantime, Onfroy's family held an open-casket public viewing at the BB&T Center in Sunrise on June 27. Hundreds of fans waited in line for hours to pay respects to the entertainer — attendees included top-selling rappers Denzel Curry, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert. Onfroy's music has also set posthumous streaming records.

Twenty-year-old Onfroy was shot to death while sitting inside his BMW i8 luxury supercar after shopping for motorcycles at RIVA Motorsports in Deerfield Beach earlier that day. Images of his dead body slumped in his car's driver's seat spread online before police were able to lock down the crime scene.

The rapper infamously rocketed to fame despite allegations of horrid abuse in his past: New Times reporter Tarpley Hitt interviewed both Onfroy and his alleged victim, Geneva Ayala, mere weeks before the rapper was shot to death.

Ayala detailed repeated instances in which Onfroy allegedly hit her, strangled her, held her underwater, blackmailed her by threatening to commit suicide if she did not acquiesce to his demands, and in one instance threatened to mutilate her genitals with a barbecue fork. After Ayala set up a GoFundMe to pay for medical expenses related to her alleged assault, the rapper's fans spammed GoFundMe and claimed Ayala was lying. GoFundMe removed Ayala's page until New Times inquired about it — she has since exceeded her fundraising goals.
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Jerry Iannelli is a staff writer for Miami New Times. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.
Contact: Jerry Iannelli