Dancehall Star Vybz Kartel Convicted Of Murder
Dancehall reggae artist and flagrant skin bleacher Vybz Kartel was judged by 10 or 11 of his peers but they might as well have carried him out to the cemetary because his life–as he knows it, is over.
He, along with three co-defendants were convicted of a 2011 murder while one defendant was cleared of all charges.
Via the AP:
As Jamaican police in riot gear guarded barricaded streets outside, 10 members of an 11-person jury found Kartel and the three others guilty of the October 2011 killing of Clive “Lizard” Williams. One defendant was cleared of wrongdoing.
In a bizarre twist, a male juror was arrested Thursday evening on charges of attempting to bribe the jury foreman in an attempt to influence the panel to free Kartel, who is known for innovative, but often violent, X-rated lyrics. Authorities confirmed the arrest but disclosed few details.
Prosecutors alleged Williams was beaten to death at Kartel’s home in August 2011 after being lured there to answer for two missing illegal guns. His body has never been found. Police testified they retrieved a text message from Kartel’s phone saying Williams was chopped up in a “mincemeat” so fine that his remains would never be found.
Before the day’s session started, police blocked off streets around the supreme court, seeking to prevent any disruption by fans of the entertainer. Still, shortly before the jury started to deliberate in the afternoon, about 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting “Free Kartel!”
Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson had told jurors the prosecution’s case against Kartel was “dishonest” and “incompetent,” noting that witness statements and a compact disc with evidence saved on it somehow went missing. After the verdict, he said he was planning to appeal.
Shortly after his arrest, there was an Internet hoax that Kartel had escaped from prison and was on the run. If only he could make that his reality today.