Vybz Kartel is almost out of options. The Jamaican dancehall star has been sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole until he serves 35 years.
In mid-March, Vybz (born Adidja Azim Palmer), was found guilty in the August 2011 murder of promoter Clive “Lizard” Williams.
The 38-year-old has remained behind bars for almost three years while awaiting trial, and after 65 days in court, a jury eventually voted 10-1 to convict Kartel and three other men on guilty charges. Prosecutors set out to prove that Williams was beaten to death in Kartel’s home, over two missing guns.
On Thursday (April 3) The Jamaica Gleaner reported that Vybz, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St. John were all sentenced to life in prison, with varying levels of eligibility for parole.
Both Campbell and Jones are eligible for parole in 25 years, while St. John will have to serve 30, and Vybz 35.
The defense still plans to appeal the verdict and Vybz Kartel’s lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson, is specifically questioning the trial judge’s decision to allow certain phone evidence to be used in court.
According to Tavares-Finson, Jamaica’s Director of Public Prosecutions has commissioned an inquiry into the conduct of police investigators involved in the case. “I am of the opinion that the department cannot investigate itself and any such investigation should be done by the Independent Commission of Investigations,” Tavares-Finson told The Gleaner.