Controversial entertainer Vybz Kartel to be sentenced for murder today

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USTICE Lennox Campbell will today hand down sentences on Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused in the High Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The judge last week Thursday postponed the sentencing after defence attorneys informed him that they were not in receipt of a letter he had instructed be sent to them seeking their assistance on sentencing guidelines.

The letter has since been delivered and Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, Shaun ‘Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and André St John will know how long they will spend behind bars before they are eligible for parole.

The four were convicted for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

They have, in the meantime, all signalled their intention to appeal the conviction.

At last Thursday’s sentencing hearing, attorney Tom Tavares-Finson, who represents Vybz Kartel, informed the court that his client was maintaining his innocence and was not seeking any leniency from the court.

Yesterday, a source close to the Department of Correctional Services told the Jamaica Observer that Vybz Kartel might not be removed from the New Horizon Remand Centre, where he spent almost three years awaiting the end of two consecutive murder trials.

If he remains at Horizon it would dash hopes of the entertainer openly recording music while incarcerated as the department’s record studio is at the Tower Street Adult Correctional facility.

“It depends on his risk assessment. If he is deemed high risk, he might not be moved from Horizon. If he remains defiant and maintains that he is innocent, he certainly will not get into the rehabilitation programme as he must admit to his wrongdoing to be admitted into rehabilitation. It depends on his conduct, too,” the source said.

Some high-profile prisoners deemed to be high-risk who have already been given hefty sentences are still housed at the New Horizon Remand Centre. They include Joel Andem, Donald ‘Zeeks’ Phipps, Christopher ‘Dog Paw’ Linton, Kevin ‘Richie Poo’ Tyndale and multiple murderer Michael McLean.

Police are expected to increase security around the precincts of the court to stave off any unruly behaviour by supporters of the convicted entertainer.


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