After a trial that has lasted over 65 days, embattled dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder.
Kartel, 38, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, had been in custody since September 2011 and went on trial on November 20. He was charged with the murder of 27-year-old Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. Prosecutors had alleged Clive 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.
The 11-member jury handed down its verdict less than two hours after deliberations began. Also found guilty were Kartel’s associates, Shawn Campbell (a.k.a. Shawn Storm), Kahira Jones and Andre St. John; a fourth associate, Shane Williams, received the sole non-guilty verdict.
However, the lead attorneys representing Kartel have steadfastly maintained that the case is a conspiracy by the police to frame Kartel because the prosecution has failed to present any evidence linking the accused to the murder of Williams.
The 65-day trial is the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system. The sentencing date is scheduled for March 27. Kartel’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal the verdict.
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