Entertainment News

  • 4 April 2014, 11:01

Vybz Kartel: Dancehall Star Jailed For Life

Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a man beaten to death in 2011.

Police in riot gear were deployed outside the court in Kingston as Judge Lennox Campbell ruled the DJ, real name Adidja Palmer, must serve 35 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.

Kartel, 38, was convicted last month alongside three other men of killing Clive "Lizard" Williams, who was murdered after being lured to Kartel's house to answer for two missing guns.

His body has never been found.

One of the key pieces of evidence in the 65-day trial, one of the longest in Jamaican history, was a text message that police said they retrieved from Kartel's phone saying Williams had been chopped up in a "mincemeat" so fine his remains would never be located.

Dozens of onlookers stood at the street barricades awaiting the sentencing. Some fans yelled in anguish when they heard news of Kartel's life sentence.

"Wickedness! They take away the 'world boss'," one woman exclaimed, referring to one of Kartel's nicknames.

Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said he expected to file an appeal.

Kartel is a major star in the dancehall genre and is known for his prolific output but often violent, X-rated lyrics.

He has collaborated with international artists including Jay-Z, Rihanna and Busta Rhymes. Rhymes travelled to Jamaica to attend the last day of Kartel's trial as a show of support.

Although he has been jailed since 2011, Kartel recorded numerous new songs from his cell using a smartphone and co-wrote a book about himself titled The Voice of the Jamaica Ghetto.

As his popularity grew, he increasingly got in trouble with the law. Last year, another murder case against Kartel collapsed after prosecutors failed to produce enough evidence to support allegations that he and two others killed businessman Barrington "Bossy" Burton in 2011.

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