XXXTentacion’s accused killer makes first court appearance in Florida
Broward sheriff's detectives picked up a man with a history of grand theft auto late Wednesday night, charged him with the murder of a popular South Florida rapper and warned they are looking for other suspects.
Despite the arrest of a suspect in a case that has attracted national attention, the sheriff's office released little information on 22-year-old Dedrick Williams. He was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy from Pompano Beach, better known as rapper XXXTentacion.
Williams, who also was charged with driving without a license and violating parole for an earlier crime, appeared in Broward County court Thursday afternoon. He remained silent and was denied bond. He was booked into the Broward County Main Jail. He is expected to appear in court on the probation violation charge at a later date.
"Homicide detectives are seeking additional suspects and are not releasing any other details at this time," said BSO spokeswoman Joy Oglesby.
Family members of Williams in the courtroom Thursday refused to speak with the media.
Onfroy's death on Monday night outside Riva Motorsports motorcycle shop in Pompano Beach sparked an outpouring from fans around the country. Social media sites lit up and candlelight vigils drew hundreds of people in South Florida, L.A., and elsewhere.
The local rapper with a slew of Billboard hits and who was embroiled in a domestic violence allegation against a pregnant woman, remained humble, at least according to his attorney. He had a No. 1 single last spring, but also had a troubled temper. People magazine and other media outlets reported various run-ins with the law and in at least one case, with a fan.
"I don't think Jahseh ever came to grips with how famous he was," Onfroy's attorney David Bogenschutz told the Miami Herald. "If he had security, maybe things would be different. Maybe not."
Bogenschutz said the arrest of Williams doesn't bring any closure. He said Onfroy brushed aside repeated attempts to get him security.
On Thursday, it remained unclear if XXXTentacion's killing was related to his popularity, or if he was shot dead in a ripoff gone bad. His attorney said the rapper had withdrawn money before he was killed to purchase a motorcycle. Born in Fort Lauderdale, he had been living in a posh Parkland home that he was renovating.
Onfroy was shot and killed Monday night outside the motorcycle shop at 3671 N. Dixie Hwy. in Pompano Beach while he was seated behind the wheel of a $150,000 BMW I8 sports car. By the time police arrived and tried to revive Onfroy, he was slumped in his seat, dead. Sheriff's deputies said Onfroy was ambushed by at least two people.
Police won't say how they latched on to Williams as the suspect, but say they spotted him Wednesday night driving a 2004 silver Honda in Pompano Beach and pulled him over without a fight. He was driving with a suspended license. Two pages of an arrest warrant for Williams only say he was wanted in the murder of Onfroy.
Onfroy's great-grandmother Corine Jones said she learned of her great-grandson's death when she got up to use the bathroom and turned on the television. She said once it settles in that her great-grandson is dead, she will make an attempt to speak with Williams.
“I want to talk to the person, find out why would you kill him," Jones said. "He had a lot of people that love him, why hurt him? Eventually that's what I'll do, but right now I have to stay strong."
In the end, Onfroy seemed to have a twinkling of what the future had in store for him.
He posted this on an Instagram video earlier this year: "If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least 5 million kids happy or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life. If worst comes to worse — I f***ing die a tragic death or some s*** — and I’m not able to see out my dreams I at least want to know that the kids perceive my message and were able to make something of themselves.”
Miami Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report.