The legal effort to have acclaimed rapper Drake give a deposition in the murder trial of XXXTentacion escalates as the superstar used armed guards to block a subpoena to testify, according to a motion filed Friday in Broward court. Lawyers for the defense seek aid in serving him and again want contempt charges if he doesn’t show.
Broward Judge Michael Usan already vacated an order on Tuesday that aimed to compel Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham, to give a virtual deposition on Feb. 24. The order would have added the threat of possibly being held in contempt of court if he did not show. Drake already missed a Jan. 27 deposition.
Defense lawyer Mauricio Padilla — who is representing Dedrick Williams, one of three facing robbery and murder charges — still retained the power to subpoena Drake to testify in the case after Usan’s Tuesday order.
On Friday, Padilla issued a motion to the court to have it again require that Drake give a deposition on Feb. 24 or be held in contempt given fruitless attempts to try to serve the rapper and his legal team. Judge Usan will likely see the motion on Tuesday next week after Monday’s court holiday.
Padilla wrote that Usan told Drake’s attorney, Brad Cohen, and him to mutually agree on a time and parameters that worked for the rapper to give the deposition before quashing the order.
“The court explained the importance of balancing the rights of the defendants to investigate this first degree murder case properly with Aubrey Drake Graham’s privacy issues,” the motion read. “It was clear by the court’s ruling that he expected for the parties to work together and that despite entering the order vacating, that he expected the deposition to take place.”
Padilla wrote in the motion that Cohen refused to accept a subpoena for Drake to testify. On Feb. 14, a servicer tried to serve the subpoena to Drake in California but was met with armed guards at his home, the motion read.
The guards closed the gates on the servicer, who tried to post the subpoena instead but a guard kicked it down the driveway. Not being able to serve Drake, they instead tried to give it to the guards but were again refused, the motion read.
“Nope, no one is expecting anything. Whatever is left we are trashing it,” one guard said.
Padilla’s efforts to have Drake on the stand come from a social media feud between the rapper and XXXTentacion.
A month before his death, XXXTentacion referenced Drake in an Instagram post: “if anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi.” The rapper later claimed his account was hacked.
This spurred unsubstantiated internet conspiracy theories linking Drake to the murder.
No evidence has connected Drake to the murder other than him being added to the witness list in December, as first reported by the Miami Herald.
Padilla and Cohen did not give comment on the newest motion to testify.