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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vybz Kartel and Three Co-Defendants Found Guilty of Murder

An eleven-member jury echoed Bob Marley and cried 'guiltiness' today when it convicted dancehall singer Vybz Kartel and three co-defendants in the murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams, ending a closely watched 65-day trial.

According to The Jamaica Gleaner, Kartel-whose real name is Adidja Palmer, along with Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St. John, were convicted in under two hours in a Jamaican courtroom.  The fourth man on trial, Shane Williams, was acquitted.  A fifth man, Calvin Haye, was originally accused with the others but was freed before trial due to lack of evidence.

Prosecutors alleged that 27-year old Clive Williams was beaten to death on August 16, 2011 at Kartel's home following a dispute over two missing guns.  Kartel was arrested a little over a month later, on September 30, and remained in jail until the trial after being denied bail. The controversial trial included accusations of police cover-ups and mishandling of evidence and was followed by dancehall fans throughout the world.  While Gaza fans are feeling sad and maintaining the artist's innocence, others are proclaiming that justice has finally been served by a Jamaican court system that is often viewed as corrupt and inefficient in the face of the violence that plagues the country.

The convicted are scheduled to be sentenced on March 27.

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