KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Popular dancehall reggae star Vybz Kartel and three co-defendants were convicted of murder Thursday in a high-profile trial under heavy security in this Caribbean country’s supreme court.

As Jamaican police in riot gear guarded barricaded streets outside, 10 members of an 11-person jury found Kartel and the three others guilty of the October 2011 killing of Clive “Lizard” Williams. One defendant was cleared of wrongdoing.

In a bizarre twist, a male juror was arrested Thursday evening on charges of attempting to bribe the jury foreman in an attempt to influence the panel to free Kartel, who is known for innovative, but often violent, X-rated lyrics. Authorities confirmed the arrest but disclosed few details.

Prosecutors alleged Williams was beaten to death at Kartel’s home in August 2011 after being lured there to answer for two missing illegal guns. His body has never been found. Police testified they 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.

Dennis Howard, author of the book “Rantin’ from Inside the Dancehall,” said the verdict was positive for the brash musical genre whose most prominent performers have a history of getting in trouble with the law, though not to the extreme Kartel has.

“The artists are realizing that they cannot be a bad man and an entertainer,” Howard said.

Before the day’s session started, police blocked off streets around the supreme court, seeking to prevent any disruption by fans of the entertainer. Still, shortly before the jury started to deliberate in the afternoon, about 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting “Free Kartel!”

Defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson had told jurors the prosecution’s case against Kartel was “dishonest” and “incompetent,” noting that witness statements and a compact disc with evidence saved on it somehow went missing. After the verdict, he said he was planning to appeal.

Last year, another murder case against Kartel and two other co-defendants collapsed after prosecutors failed to produce evidence to support allegations that the trio killed businessman Barrington “Bossy” Burton in 2011.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, has been in jail for about three years, but his songs are played widely and many young Jamaicans, especially those in blighted slums, consider him a hero of sorts.


  1. *especially those in blighted slums*
    They are limited and unexposed, not to mention illiterate. A great man once said, if you wish to know how intelligent a person is, look at what he laughs at. In this case, look at who they worship.

      1. Me wan know if dem nu notice sey Kartel expose dem empty cubards, zinc fences, sponge bed and illetracy more…smh. idiots

          1. Wonda if haiti want dem. Jah know a de rotten mouth oman whey say ghetto youth life and working class nu have no value bun me de most…gas and tire too good fi she!

  2. In that year, Kartel killed Jockey, Bossey, Jomo, several other young men then Lizzy. He deserve the death penalty; he is very wicked. He corrupt the community with his fame and $$..He went Bossy and ask him to kill Jockey for him, Bossy says no, “I have my hungry belly kids to feed and mi nawh go back a jail.” One guy who was hanging wid Bossy take the work because he wants the $. After the guy kill Jockey, late in the night he was at a popular bar with his friends drinking and celebrating while he wait for Kartel to drop his $ off, Kartel instead send some guys to shoot up the bar and Bossy so happens to be there. Bossy was shot and kill that same night of Jockey’s death by Leng, Tusain, and Madsuss. Kartel, to cover his ass, he claims that Bossy friend’s are out to get them so he send Leng to go kill Jomo (Bossy’s best fren). Then Lizzy took the two guns that they were using to fight Bossy friends with and hide it because he says it’s time for the violence to stop. Shawn Storm found them and remove them from where Lizzy hide them so Lizard got scared and did not know what to tell the Boss. Lizzy was just trying to cry peace, he did not sell the guns. After he was killed Shawn Storm return the guns to the Boss. They cop him up and throw his remain over Tellaville in Spanish Town in some bush where they throw some other bodies. World Boss deserves the death penalty. Tusane, I don’t understand how they allow you to walk when you is a conspiracy to a lot of murder. You bring gossip to the Boss about Jockey that’s why him kill the youth. You need to be put on a electric chair. You are very wicked, remember a you tell mi cousin this. Gaza slim, you a the other one; you tell lie because you afraid a Kartel. Yuh go a England go tell me cousin say yuh a fret cause Kartel force yuh fi tell lie. I want you to get the same time as him in jail. Thank you Jesus..

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