The murder case of dancehall reggae artist Vybz Kartel is taking on a renewed sense of urgency after prosecutors entered evidence of text messages their side say counts as an admission of guilt. Kartel’s legal team is pushing back, saying the phone evidence was altered and that police wrote the messages to paint their client as a murderer.
Jamaica Observer reports:
WHILE pointing out that the judge in the Vybz Kartel murder trial, Justice Lennox Campbell, had admitted that the phone evidence was compromised, defence lawyers representing the convicted entertainer and his three c0-appellants yesterday maintained that the phone evidence used to convict the men was contaminated.
The defence lawyers also blame the police for altering the phone’s data and possibly concocting the damning message that was sent from Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer’s phone.
The text, which read: “Between me and you a chop wi chop up di bwoy Lizard fine fine and dash him weh nuh. As long as wi a live dem can never find him”, according to the prosecution, should be construed as an admission of guilt.
Vybz Kartel, along with fellow entertainer Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, as well as Kahira Jones and Andre St John, are seeking to have their life sentences overturned for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams on August 16, 2011.
The outlet adds that last week, the prosecution was able to strike down Kartel’s defense team and their claims of evidence tampering, but this week it appears the tables are turning back in favor of the defense due to their side uncovering inconsistencies in the times and messages delivered. The judges say they are reserving judgment until they’ve fully examined all the new facts that were entered.
Kartel is slated to serve at least 35 years in prison before he is considered for parole, and has been jailed along with his co-defendants since 2014.