Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel and three associates were convicted Thursday in the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams. Jurors deliberated less than two hours before announcing their verdict, which may result in a life sentence for the popular dancehall musician.
On Thursday, Jamaican police in riot gear guarded streets outside, and parts of the capital Kingston were cordoned off in advance of the verdict to prevent any disruption by fans of the entertainer.
However, shortly before the jury started to deliberate in the afternoon, about 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting “Free Kartel!”
Prosecutors alleged Williams was beaten to death at the reggae performer’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. Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, has been in jail for about three years since his arrest in connection with the case.
Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson had told jurors that 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 on behalf of the convicted men.
On Friday, Jamaican rapper Chron Don released a new EP entitled Been a Minute.
The Been a Minute EP consists of five tracks including one original entitled Tattoos and a Gold Watch produced by Sarangetti Music.
The rapper also debuted the music video for his freestyle Levels.