Vybz Kartel and three co-defendants guilty of murder

Jamaican dancehall reggae star Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, and three codefendants were found guilty of murdering an associate, Clive 'Lizard' Williams, whose body was never found.

Three of four co-defendants -  Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre 'Mad Suss' St John - were found guilty. 

A fourth Shane Williams, who was found not guilty and freed.

The jurors voted ten to one in finding Kartel and the three co-defendants guilty and ten to one in finding Shane Williams not guilty.

The prosecutors alleged that Clive Williams was lured to Kartel's St. Andrew house where he was beaten to death in August 2011 as a result of a dispute over two missing guns.

The prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence, including voicemail and text messages, to prove their case because Williams' body was never found. 

Police testified they had retrieved a text message from Kartel’s phone saying Williams was chopped up in a “mincemeat” so fine that his remains would never be found.

The conviction is based in part by testimony by star prosecution witness Lamar Chow, who went into ae witness protection program and give evidence against his former cronies.

In reaching the verdict, the jurors deliberated for one hour and 53 minutes, which brought to conclusion a trial that lasted a marathon 65 days, the longest in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system.

Last year, in another murder case against Kartel, Kartel and two codefendants, Lenburgh McDonald and Nigel Thompson, were found not guilty of murdering St. Catherine businessman Barrington “Bossy” Burton in 2011, after prosecutors failed to produce evidence to support their allegations.

Kartel, who is idolized by some in Jamaica's low income community, is known for hits including "Dollar Sign," "Clarks," "Romping Shop," and "Pon De Floor." 

He has collaborated with a number of well known artists including Lil Wayne, Jay Z,  Rihanna, Eminem, M.I.A. and  Busta Rhymes.

In a twist to the case, The Jamaican Observer reported that a male juror attempted to bribe the jury foreman with $500,000 for a not guilty verdict and was arrested minutes after the trial ended on Thursday.

Vybz Kartel and his co-defendants will be sentenced on March 27.

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