XXXTentacion‘s criminal case in Florida will be split into two after prosecutors are questioning the validity of an affidavit filed earlier this week.
In October, the rapper born Jahseh Onfroy was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness-tampering. As Pitchfork reports, this week an affidavit was filed in the victim’s name stating that she was not willing to testify and wanted the charges against Onfroy “completely dropped.”
As a result of that affidavit, at a hearing in Miami on Friday (Dec. 1), prosecutors announced plans to break up the case into two parts — trying Onfroy first on the more serious charge of witness-tampering, which is a first-degree felony and could result in a life sentence. The rapper has denied all charges repeatedly over social media in obscenity-laced and sometimes threatening posts.
The prosecution’s suspicion of the affidavit is not without reason. In January, the victim testified during a length deposition during which, as Pitchfork reports, she said that Onfroy had threatened her over the phone and that his team reached out to her asking that she end the case.
“They offered me to drop charges, right, but me knowing that you can’t drop charges like that, I was like, “Yeah, you can offer me money,'” she said in the transcript obtained by Pitchfork. “They were like, ‘How much do you want?’ And I was like ‘3k.'”
“They were like, ‘you need to drop the charges,'” she said in the deposition. “And I was like, ‘I’m not dropping charges, unless you pay me.’ But you know, I was just being smart about it.”
While Onfroy’s trial had been scheduled to start on Dec. 11, this new action will push that date back and the next hearing in the case is currently scheduled for Dec. 15, according to Pitchfork.
Under the prosecution’s new plan, Onfroy’s second-degree felony charge of aggravated battery of a pregnant victim and his third-degree felony charges of domestic battery by strangulation and false imprisonment will all be tried together at a later date.
Billboard reached out to XXXTentacion’s rep for comment but did not hear back at time of publishing.