Popular dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel has lost his appeal against his murder conviction. After a near two-year wait, the Court of Appeal this morning handed down a judgment affirming the murder conviction of the popular entertainer and his co-accused. The decision was made by a three member panel of judges at the Court of Appeal.
Kartel, André St John, Shawn Campbell (also known as dancehall artiste Shawn Storm), and Kahira Jones were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in 2011. Vybz Kartel had received the harshest sentence, requiring him to serve at least 35 years before eligible for parole. Storm, Jones and St John were ordered to serve 25 years each before being eligible for parole.
Appeal Court Judges Frank Wiliams, Dennis Morrison, and Patrick Brooks this morning affirmed the murder conviction of Kartel and his co-convicts but they have given defense attorneys 7 days to submit documents for them to consider a reduction in sentence for the convicted artiste.
Kartel’s lawyers argued that he did not get a fair trial and that sentencing was excessive. They assert that the deejay was not at the scene on the day the murder took place and cited discrepancies with the GPS data obtained from Kartel’s cell phone. Bert Samuels, who represents Shawn Storm, said “The second was the allegation by the foreman of the jury that all members of the jury were being approached to give a certain verdict, rendering him unfit. That man was unfit to sit and deliberate with the jurors and come with an independent and impartial verdict, guaranteed by the Constitution.”