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.
UPDATE: Dancehall star #VybzKartel's appeal of his murder conviction has been delayed. New date is July 9 next year. Original date was February 19 next year. Three weeks set aside for appeal hearing.
— Abka Fitz-Henley (@AbkaFitzHenley) November 13, 2017
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.
If his appeal is rejected, Kartel would be up for parole by 2046.