Suspect, 22, Is Arrested in Killing of Rapper XXXTentacion

Posted June 21, 2018 4:41 p.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2018 4:50 p.m. EDT

A suspect was arrested Wednesday night in the killing of Jahseh Onfroy, the 20-year-old rapper known as XXXTentacion, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.

Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompano Beach, Florida, was arrested after a traffic stop shortly before 7 p.m. in Pompano Beach, on charges including first-degree murder — described in documents as “murder dangerous depraved without premeditation” — as well as grand theft of a motor vehicle and operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. The documents identified the theft as a probation violation.

Williams was being held without bond after a hearing Thursday afternoon in which he appeared before Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica via closed-circuit television from the county jail.

Williams, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, with his hands and feet shackled, remained silent during the hearing on potential bail. He invoked his right to refuse any interviews without his attorney present.

He is scheduled to appear before a criminal court judge Monday.

XXXTentacion, a gifted but controversial rapper who was highly influential on a generation of young rappers who have taken root chiefly on the online platform SoundCloud, was killed Monday outside a motor sports store in Deerfield Beach, Florida. In a previous statement, the sheriff said that XXXTentacion had been approached by two armed suspects as the rapper left the dealership.

Documents released by the sheriff’s office, including the arrest warrant for Williams, gave few details about the investigation. The office said in a statement that it was “seeking additional suspects,” but representatives did not respond to further questions. Documents showing the evidence that led to the murder charge have been sealed.

XXXTentacion had been awaiting trial on charges including aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, false imprisonment and witness tampering. Those charges led to his music being banned from Spotify’s playlists last month in conjunction with a short-lived policy about “hateful conduct,” with R. Kelly apparently the only other affected artist.

But when the policy was rescinded after just three weeks, XXXTentacion’s music was restored. And in the wake of his death, Spotify promoted his music with a “rest in peace” tribute on its main page and placement on the top two spots of its influential RapCaviar playlist.

On Tuesday, Spotify users around the world streamed XXXTentacion’s music 10.4 million times — breaking a record set last year by Taylor Swift for the most streams by an artist on a single day.