Less than two months after the defense team for Dedrick Williams — one of the three suspects on trial for the murder of XXXtentacion — listed a slew of artists as potential witnesses in December, one of those artists is now being ordered to appear in court.
Due to a feud between Drake and the late rapper born Jahseh Onfroy, who was shot and killed in 2018, defense attorney Mauricio Padilla believes the Certified Lover Boy superstar is connected to XXX’s death — and in an effort to solidify that claim, he tried to subpoena the Certified Lover Boy rapper last month. But according to a court document obtained by Billboard, Drake failed to appear on his scheduled deposition date of Jan. 27 and is now being ordered to appear for a deposition on Feb. 24 via Zoom video. If he fails to appear again, he may be held in contempt.
A representative for Drake did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Drake’s alleged involvement in the murder stems from unsubstantiated rumors that swirled following XXXtentacion’s death, connected with a 2017 beef over what XXX believed to be a rip-off by Drake of his flows from breakout track “Look at Me!” on Drake’s “KMT.” A year after the drama, a story was posted to XXX’s Instagram page that read, “If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi,” tagging Drake’s Instagram handle. Afterward, XXXtentacion claimed his account was hacked; he was killed four months later in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
According to a December court filing, “Onfroy relentlessly taunted Graham on social media making statements about his mother and even posting a picture of a Drake look alike with semen on his face,” following frustrations that Drake didn’t lend him a hand during his time behind bars in 2016-17. Tensions continued to escalate, with XXX allegedly involving DJ Akademiks by asking the media personality to repost the photo. The filing went on to accuse Drake of having ties to “gang related activities” while naming Somali Canadian rapper Hassan Ali, a “suspected member of the Jungle Bloods Street Gang,” as a possible associate (Drake has publicly been connected to Ali via his own Instagram posts). In an interview, Ali also told Akademiks that he’s “Drake’s shooter.”
In the December filing, Padilla also listed Quavo, Offset, late Migos rapper Takeoff, Tekashi 6ix9ine and Joe Budden as potential witnesses, but at a subsequent hearing reported on by the Miami Herald, prosecutors called the move a stunt. “It is apparent from the deliberate, late disclosure of the defendant’s witnesses and comments made between the parties that [the] defendant intended to ‘surprise’ the state and create a trial by ambush,” wrote prosecutor Pascale Achille, as reported by the Herald. Broward Country Circuit Judge Michael Usan then demanded answers from Padilla in writing as to why the superstars were relevant to the case.
“They are high-profile people. And it’s not easy for me to subpoena,” Padilla answered. “I don’t have numbers, but it doesn’t mean I won’t be able to. Trying to subpoena Drake is not easy — you need a drone.”
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