Dabcehall lovers will be crushed to learn that Popular Jamaican dancehall and reggae star Vybz Kartel has been convicted of murder in a high-profile trial. He and three co-defendants were convicted under tight security of killing an associate, Clive Lizard Williams, in a row over a missing gun.
Some parts of the Capital City Kingston were closed down and police details instructed to be on high alert in preparation for the announcement of the verdict of the jury. Vybz Kartel, real name is Adidja Palmer, is one of the biggest names in Jamaican dancehall reggae.
The BBC’s Nick Davis in Kingston says that Kartel’s bleached skin – covered by tattoos – made him stand out from the crowd – and the “World Boss” as he called himself also often glorified violence in his music. The 65-day trial was the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system, local media reported.
There was commotion when some excited fans numbering over 200 broke through the barricades screaming “Free Kartel!” as the jury was to meet for afternoon deliberations
Sentencing has been scheduled for 27 March but Kartel’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal against the verdict. When Kartel was arrested in 2011, it was alleged he had been involved in two murders, but one of those cases was dismissed after key evidence disappeared.
Prosecutors said that Williams met his demise at Kartel’s home in August 2011 after he was called there to explain the whereabouts of two missing illegal firearms.The body has never been found but police testified that they had discovered a text message from Kartel’s Blackberry saying Williams’s body had been cut like “mincemeat”, so fine that his remains would never be found.