NEXT week Thursday the nation will know the fate of convicted entertainer Vybz Kartel as Justice Lennox Campbell will sentence him and his three co-accused.

After being found guilty of murder on Thursday, the glamourous side of the life of this controversial but phenomenal dancehall practitioner could be effectively over.

Depending on whether or not Justice Campbell takes into consideration his attorney’s expected plea for leniency, Vybz Kartel faces the possibility of spending up to 50 years in prison.

At the very least, he will have to spend about two years in prison until his appeal is heard.

If that appeal is unsuccessful, then in the best -case scenario, he will have to spend at least 15 years before being eligible for parole.

All that depends on the ruling of the judge.

Under Jamaican law, murder is punishable by death but that sentence has not been carried out since Stanford Dinnal and Nathan Foster were hanged on February 18, 1988 at the St Catherine District Prison.

But how did Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer come to this?

At the time of his arrest inside a hotel in New Kingston in 2011, he was at the top of his game and some sources said that he was earning more money than some of Jamaica’s top executives with his music, which ruled the dancehall and the airwaves, Vybz Rum, condoms, cake soap, his line of shoes and his music production company Adidjahiem/Notnice Records.

This while not being able to ply his trade in the major markets of the United States and Europe.

According to his sister, Maureen Nelson, who is the vice-principal of a high school in Portmore, St Catherine, Adidja Palmer grew up in a home where discipline and education were instilled by his parents.

“They used to call us ‘grille up’ because when other children were outside running up and down we had to look out from behind the grille. Our father knew the importance of education and we grew up sheltered,” Nelson said when she appeared in the Home Circuit Court last month to give character evidence on behalf of her accused brother.

Adidja Palmer was born on January 7, 1976.

He attended Calabar High School but dropped out early because, according to Nelson, he spent most of his time pursuing musical interests and not because of indiscipline, Nelson said.

One of his teachers at Calabar, who asked not to be named, said that Palmer was a bright student.

“He could have become a rocket scientist if he had so desired. He was by no means a slow learner,” the educator said.

A police officer who interacted with him while he was locked up at the Greater Portmore Police Station was also impressed with his intelligence quotient.

“He remembered every police officer by name. Him is a bright youth. It just unfortunate that he made the wrong choices,” the cop said.

His penchant for lyricism could not be contained, and the aspiring Adi Banton, as he called himself then, recorded his first single Love Fat Woman at the tender age of 17.

That signalled the beginning of a career which would see Vybz Kartel growing to become part of the famed ‘Alliance’ which was headed by another enigmatic and controversial dancehall star Bounty Killer.

While he was a member of Alliance, Vybz Kartel’s lyrical prowess came even further to the fore as he penned songs for Bounty Killer and rose through the ranks to eventually become one of the syndicate’s rising stars.

He also linked up and made friends with another rising star Mavado.

But soon, his stint at the Alliance would come to an end and he left in a huff, all the while trading verbal tirades with Bounty Killer and also hurling insults at some of the other artistes in Alliance who thought that his move to become an independent artiste was a mark of ingratitude.

His former friend Mavado became his arch enemy and their differences spilled over in the street and police sources claim that the feud was one of the main causes of a Gaza/Gully war that plagued sections of Mannings Hill Road and was responsible for a number of murders and shootings.

But the Gaza/Gully rivalry would spread nationwide even in schools and caused the Police High Command and, later, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding to summon both artistes and warn them to rein in their rabid followers and put an end to the unwarranted bloodletting.

One police source told the Jamaica Observer that both men were warned that if they did not let up, serious consequences would follow.

“We called in the two of them and made them know that we were very much aware of what they were supporting and warned them that if they did not stop, they would either be taken out or be locked away. It seemed Mavado heeded the warning but Kartel was not ready,” the cop said.

The section of Mannings Hill Road is no longer plagued by infighting and has been peaceful for years.

But like a candle on a hilltop, Vybz Kartel’s talent could not go unnoticed and soon he rose even further to become the top dancehall act.

But, as usual, his rise was not without controversy.

After forming his own label and surrounding himself with upcoming artistes, reports began to emerge that he had a penchant for beating his artistes and female DJ Gaza Kim went public with photos of a battered face, and claiming that she and her brother were beaten by men from the Gaza Empire at the behest of the Gaza ‘boss’.

Gaza Kim, whose name is Kim Hamilton, even issued a statement confirming the attack.

“I, Kim Hamilton aka Gaza Kim will like to make it publicly known that I was indeed assaulted over the weekend. I’ve visited the doctor … I’m still traumatised but recuperating through my ordeal. I’ve taken the necessary actions to correct the wrong that was done against me and legal advice has been sought out,” the statement read.

In response, Vybz Kartel issued his own statement which he urged the female artiste to report the incident.

“I do not condone violence, especially any attacks against females and children. Gaza Kim is a very young and very talented singer who I hope will reach far in her musical endeavours whether or not she is a part of the Portmore Empire.

“My deepest sentiments go out to her,” Vybz Kartel’s statement said.

There were also reports of run-ins with former Portmore Empire artistes Black Rhyno, Meritol, Jah Vinci and Lisa Hype, all of whom were expelled.

But things would take a turn for the worse, after cops from the Flying Squad stormed a hotel in New Kingston and hauled him and a female companion out of a room.

He was subsequently slapped with two murder charges — the July 2011 shooting death of Barrington ‘Bossie’ Bryan and the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams — for whose death Vybz Kartel, Shawn ‘Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and André St John were found guilty of by an 11-member panel of jurors on Thursday last.

Police had accused the men of beating ‘Lizard’ to death in a house owned by Vybz Kartel at Swallowfield Avenue in Havendale, St Andrew, after two illegal firearms went missing.

The prosecution’s case rested heavily on the testimony of Leonard Chow, who claimed he had to flee the house in order to escape the same fate as he was given one of the guns for safekeeping.

Chow is now in protective custody.

Known for his tattoos and bleached skin, Vybz Kartel made an impassioned plea for his freedom in an unsworn statement during the recently concluded trial.

“My Lord, I bleach my skin and I am heavily tattooed, also. My Lord, that is merely superficial; that is the persona of Vybz Kartel, not Adidja Palmer. My Lord, I think you will agree, I am a normal man. I even have a family, some of which are here today, including my grandmother, cousin and mother-in-law,” he said.

But his plea and that of Campbell, Jones and St John fell on deaf ears, as the jurors voted by a margin of 10 to one that all should pay for the crime.

Attorney-at-law Miguel Lorne cited as unfortunate that Vybz Kartel was found guilty as he had been making attempts to broaden his horizons and reform his life while he was on remand awaiting his fate.

“He had actually started reading uplifting material like the Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, The Promised Key and books on herbal healing. He was also seriously considering to stop bleaching,” Lorne told the Sunday Observer.


  1. Yu know mi cah Badda him a consider fi stop bleaching ? So like how him deh a jail from when it would have been the best time fi just stop since him can’t go buy it him self a the shop . Mi just a wait fi the 27 and mi hope them a clen up the gallas fi him nastiness but him even have a family . Yu never remember them when yu a chop up lizard fine fine fine eh f**k face fartel? If u get less than 25 years mi wah see judge Campbell next bank statement cause him would a get a nice lump sum ,

  2. from what I have been reading I can say now that kartel had gotten enough chance from the justice system.. they had given him chance but he feels like he was above the law.. now them get tired a him and them not going to give him a next chance again to go abuse people pickney

    them must stop talk bout he should get a second chance cause from weh me a read he got more than a second chance and never change

      1. Met he wasn’t going to change. that is not the first time he went to jail and they given him a chance.. kartel was even trying to come up against the judge when he wrote his letter trying to draw the judge in his f**kery.. that pisses he off bright! before him him a write a letter begging the judge and jurors! him a challenged them.. now him cannot even write a letter begging for leniency in sentencing because the judge na go look.. him don’t change before him seek how to ask for forgiveness him deh a prison a huff and a puff.. the family them a go make kartel get life sentence with the bag of foolishness that they are putting out in the media.. before them keep them mout shut and start right and beg noooo them a talk pure fart… dem a go be kartel own down fall.. yes God is working he is a dat them ask for a that them a go get.. big big principal sister no know that.. why she never tell them to stay away from the media until him get sentence.. it look like lizard family them have more sense than kartel principal sister put all together

        1. He is a sick man and he will have to face his sickness where God put him fi face it..Unno nuh hear di half a him yet wait oooo wait

  3. So many youths in the inner cities have untold talents but are never given the opportunity to shine. He rose up from selling jerk chicken to become the biggest act in dancehall and unlike Shaggy and Sean Paul that put Jamaica on the international scene and showcased dancehall in a positive light, he relished in leading the youths astray. The worst thing in life is wasted talent. He introduced guns and violence to the little youths around him that were impressed with his fame. There is so much he could have done. You can’t use your God given talent and the power of words and music to do the devil’s work and expect to reign. Kartel got his just desserts and the sad thing is, it hasn’t even sunk in for him yet. This egomaniac still believes he will be freed upon appeal. After having heard what judge Campbell had to say to the jury following the verdict, I’m comfortable that he will throw the book at them and rightfully so.
    He has such a hold over people that those 3 idiots with him instead of turning states witness against the man for a lesser time, believed so much in his invincibility that they are perishing with him.

  4. As we know Clive Lizard loved dancing he link up with Shawn Storm then Kartel hoping to get a buss with his dancing talent, It seems Lizard was not a batman, he was groomed by Kartel dem to start buss shot and lock shoes/guns…. instead of being a professional dancer he was turned into a prentice gunman…..

  5. rocket scientist? met you see why jamaica education system need to get rebuilt from scratch. think a so rocket scientist go? he wasnt even smart enough to know that deleting a message does not delete it from the system.

    as for that police man, who say him bright because him remember everybody name lmao! a so fi him standard low? think di man did ago say him see kartel split an atom or describe the elctromagnetic spectrum in detail.

    it remind me of potential kid, “she can read and write a dat amaze mi” really dat amaze yuh?

    1. Oc when mi hear dem chat bout intelligent and bright in regards to kartel my lips always shut wid a BAM because I dont lknow..I just dont know…………He was smart and intelligent to think that saving every detail would save his ass from jail and a dat send him. Him neva delete none else u cudda say him semi smart or a likkle beenie bit. If this is what Jamaica looks up to no wonderrrrrrrr

        1. OC das y dem se Kartel fans are from one particular sect in society..Jamaica’s dregs..the ones who are constantly looking for someone to lead them because dem nuh know nothing man say hima daddy dem run go call him daddy..him se him a teacher dema run wid teacha..him se world boss a dem dat..Yuh nuh si se dem sick? A man whey is of no relation to mi can come tell me fi call him daddy? he is not a personal affiliate ……..mi doe know him only him music? Bob gave so much and regular jamaicans dont know half bout him..something is wrong

          1. too much illiteracy and dem a crave everything else but education…u cannot reason wid dem u haffi cow dem dung constantly fi get through to dem and slavery done long time shame pan dem

          2. Oc u nuh see when di paint did dash pan di Marley ting nuff a dem pass it day by day and neva se nothing? Dem neva endorse nothing whey say peace and nothing good..If a did any a di hero dem a Jamaica it would be nothing to them and those are positive people that did positive things

          3. Met yu tink a joke ..dats y mi a tell u seh Jamaica a di best place fi do business cah nobody out deh nah do nutten ….

          4. Real I ask my friend this morning why dem cudden call a next carribbean country name ina di nygard dog thing..why dem cudden seh trinidad and some other place? a money dem crave and at the end of the day they cant say what they have done with it but will do anything fi get it dem all gone ina dodo sex business :travel

  6. Good day met can you please put up the interview wid deva brat 2014 on his reaction on kartels guilty verdict him keep it real him nuh go round nuh corner wid him answers

  7. if you want get rejected by jamaicans, be positive, educated and a logical thinker. i think alot of jamaican men act a certain way because they see it gets results. the worse man dem have the most kids, how dat make sense. it make young youths think in order to get the girls you have to act a fool. in other societies women tr their hardest not to mate with certain men, its the opposite for us it seems.

  8. Wait a minute: Adija Palmer didn’t complete High School?! So how did his fans and people in his community claim that he’s educated? I’m not going to dispute the fact that he’s book smart but, he’s not an educated person.

  9. When them a seh how smart a high school drop is, it reminds me of a “one eye” man in a blind man country……enough said.

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