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Vybz Kartel's Appeal For Murder Conviction Moved To July 2018

Lawyers for the Dancehall legend reportedly needed more time to prepare their defense.   

Fans who looked forward to Vybz Kartel's appeal hearing at the top of 2018 regarding his life sentence for the killing of Clive "Lizard" Williams will have to wait until the summer.

Loop Jamaica reports a meeting about the appeal took place Monday (Nov. 14). The original date was slated for February 8, but has now been pushed to July 9. Senior News reporter Abka Henley for Nationwide Radio shared on social media that three weeks have been reserved for the hearing.

Kartel was handed a life sentence in 2011 for the death of associate Clive "Lizard" Williams over a dispute regarding missing guns. Three others were also given prison time. The Dancehall artist, who's worked with the likes of Rihanna and Drake, was a staple in the genre an found love in hop-hop circles for the reggae jams "Tek Body Gal" and "Picture Me & U." In the early aughts. Drizzy, Busta Rhymes and former protege Popcaan have showed support of the artist since his conviction.

He crossed over in 2009 with the Spice-assisted single "Romping Shop," and helped bring favor to Major Lazer's early tunes.

Rolling Stone reported that many close to the artist believe his sentencing was rooted in a personal vendetta against him, despite evidence presented to support the conviction. Michael Dawson, the artist's business partner, told the outlet in 2014 he believes there's lost evidence that suggests Kartel's innocence.

"This is the longest criminal case in Jamaican history and has had the most media coverage of any case in Jamaica’s history — it’s really strange that evidence would just be missing," Dawson said. "I don't believe this would be allowed if this was not Vybz Kartel on trial. He is a target because of what he sings about."

"Once you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to appeal your conviction and or the amount of time you were given, so I'm exercising that right as a Jamaican citizen," Kartel told the outlet in 2016. "It's a very delicate issue."

His reign has remained in tact, as new music has continued to be released by his producers. On Tuesday, the rapper's reps released the single, "How?" on social media.

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HOW? FULL SONG ON VYBZKARTELVEVO

A post shared by #EXILEDPHARAOH MANOFGOD (@vybzkartel) on

If his appeal is rejected, Kartel would be up for parole by 2046.

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Michigan Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Serving 46 Years On A Wrongful Conviction

When Richard Philips was 27-years-old, he was found guilty of dragging a man named Gregory Harris out of his car and shooting him to death. Harris' brother-in-law corroborated the story and told investigators he met with Philips in a local bar to discuss the murder.

Yet despite the statement from the victim's relative, Philips maintained his innocence. It wasn't enough, however, and Philips went onto spend 46 years in prison.

Then in 2010, Richard Polombo came forward and admitted to the killing. It would be another four years before the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan's law school heard Polombo's confession, and another three in legal proceedings before Philips was granted a new trial in 2017.

In March of 2018, Philips was a free man. CNN reports that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has awarded Philips $1.5 million, $50,000 for each year he was imprisoned. The money will not be taxed and Philips won't lose any of it in lawyer fees.

In 1990, Philips began painting to "to stave off loneliness," and began selling his artwork in prison to fellow inmates. The money he made went into purchasing more supplies. Philips' watercolor paintings echoed themes of hope and survival.

Now, at 73 years old, Philips rents a small apartment and hopes to buy a home with his money. For now, he's enjoying life's simple pleasures and along with his new home, he says he also wants a German Shepherd puppy.

"He is pretty well-adjusted. He says that he is not bitter," Gabi Silver, Philips' attorney said.

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Drew Angerer

Facebook Bans Maryland Artist For Turning 'MAGA' Hats Into Klan Hood And Swastika

A Maryland artist says her livelihood is in jeopardy after Facebook banned her page prohibiting her from contacting her followers of upcoming art shows. The offense? Turning Donald Trump's 'MAGA' hats into Ku Klux Klan hoods and Swastikas.

Kate Kretz says she rips apart the well-known red Make America Great Again hat and turns them into other divisive symbols. While speaking with WUSA 9, she said her art is meant to start a dialogue.

"The armband is actually titled, 'Only the Terrorized Own the Right to Name Symbols of Terror,' and so if people are afraid of people that are walking around with MAGA hats because they’re afraid of violence," Kretz said. "It’s not really up to the wearer to say 'oh you shouldn’t feel afraid of me.' "

Kretz said she mostly received positive feedback, but about four or five days after an image of a reimagined Swastika band made from the red MAGA hat appeared, Facebook shut down her page citing it violated community standards. Kretz appealed the decision but says she hasn't heard anything.

The Mount Rainier, Md resident said she buys knock-off MAGA hats for her art. "I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting any money in [Trump’s] pocket,” Kretz said.

And while she knows art is subjective, as one of the many artists that help to make Facebook, she thinks Facebook should exercise more diplomacy.

"I understand doing things for the greater good," Kretz said. "However, I think artists are a big part of Facebook’s content providers, and they owe us a fair hearing.”

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102-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home To Make Room For Landlord’s Daughter

A 102-year-old woman living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Ladera Heights is being evicted from her home of three decades. Thelma Smith was notified on March 8 that she has to move out so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the single-family home, after she graduates from law school.

Smith was on a month-to-month lease and has been paying “very low rent,” her longtime neighbor told the L.A. Times. She has to be out of the home by June 30.

While Smith’s eviction is legal, as landlords have the right to evict tenants to help relatives under L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival told the Times that the law is used to “target low-income paying tenants.”

Smith is a former director of the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charity aimed at serving underprivileged youth. She has yet to find a new home, and rejected her neighbor’s offer to move in, but it looks like she’ll be getting housing assistance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor and former California Governor vowed to help Smith, whom he called a “dear friend for a long time.”

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless,” he tweeted Friday (May 24). Schwarzenegger went on to state that he will be reaching out to Smith. “Landlords, you’ll hear from me too,” he added.

Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019

Landlord Arthur Hilton explained to CBS News that the home was never meant to be a rental property, even though Smith had been living there for 30 years. “This property was purchased by my parents not for rental but for the Hilton family,” he said.

Smith, a widow who never had children, planned to live in the home for the remainder of her life.

See more on her story in the video above.

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