After Drake was ordered to appear in court later this month to answer questions related to the murder of rapper XXXTentacion, a judge has granted the Canadian hitmaker’s request to skip the hearing.
On Tuesday (Feb. 14), Judge Michael Usan ratified an order dismissing a subpoena that would have required the 36-year-old to be deposed on Feb. 24 in relation to the late artist’s death. It was reported that if Drake missed that date, he would have until Feb. 27 to appear for a deposition or risk being charged with contempt.
The Her Loss rapper’s attorney, Bradford M. Cohen, argued that the court’s request of his client’s presence at the trial was “unreasonable and oppressive,” deeming it a publicity stunt.
“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,” Cohen said. “To mandate that he appear for deposition for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”
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The attorney further shot down the defense’s attempt to connect Drake to the murder of the victim, adding that it was “less for the purpose of discovering relevant evidence and testimony” and simply a ploy to “add more layers of celebrity and notoriety to a tragic and unfortunate event.”
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Drake was previously fingered as a possible suspect of the crime by the attorney of Dedrick Williams, one of the four men officially charged with XXXTentacion’s murder. The defense pointed to a post on the “SAD!” rapper’s social media account warning that if he was to ever pass away, that Drake was responsible for any foul play.
“If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi,” the Florida native’s Instagram Stories read at the time. However, he would later delete the post, claiming that his account had been hacked and that he was not responsible for the post, telling his followers to not take any validity from the statement.
XXXTentacion was murdered on June 18, 2018 after leaving Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Dedrick Williams—along with codefendants Michael Boatwright and Trayvon Newsome—has been charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm. The triggerman in the murder is believed to be Boatwright, who allegedly shot XXX multiple times after Newsome retrieved cash, jewelry, and a designer bag belonging to the rapper.
The trio face life in prison if convicted of murder. A fourth man, Robert Allen, plead guilty to second-degree murder in 2022 and has cooperated with the state.