Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Buju Banton adamantly refuses to give up his fight freedom as he’s filed for a new trial in his ongoing drug case.
Currently serving a ten year sentence on three drug-related charges, Buju Banton’s legal team filed a motion on Tuesday with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida asking that the Grammy-winning entertainer be granted a new trial. This coming nearly three weeks after a Georgia Circuit Court threw out an appeal made on behalf of Buju Banton, agreeing with the jury’s convictions on the three aforementioned charges including conspiracy to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting a person’s use of a telephone to facilitate a drug crime.
The Circuit Court also sided with the jury’s guilty verdict regarding a charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime; this despite the charge being thrown out by the presiding judge during Buju’s last trial.
Should a new trial be granted by the Middle District of Florida, it would mark the third for Buju Banton since his initial arrest in December 2009. However, given that there would be a new judge presiding should the trial take place, Buju risks an extension of his current ten year sentence given that the reinstatement of the aforementioned gun charge carries an additional five year prison term, which would be issued consecutively.
According to Buju’s lead lawyer, David Oscar Markus, should his client be denied a new trial on all initial charges by the Florida court, then a new trial will be requested on the gun charge alone.
Buju Banton’s first trial ended in a hung jury in September 2010, prompting the artiste to later be released on bail until his second trial in February 2011, in which he was convicted of the three drug-related charges.
He was sentenced in June of last year and originally served his prison term at a Texas-based correctional facility before being moved to a Florida federal prison after several safety concerns were raised.
Buju Banton’s current release date is set for February 1, 2019.