Exactly six years after he was convicted of murder, a Jamaican court of appeals ruled to uphold the convictions against Vybz Kartel and two co-defendants. The ruling was handed down by a three-judge panel on Friday (April 3) via video conference as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kartel’s lawyer wasn’t surprised by the court decision. “The public pressure is such that there is a lot of negatives for Vybz Kartel from certain persons and areas of the society, so I expected it,” Valerie Neita Roberson said according to the Jamaica Star. Neat Roberson added that her client did not receive a “fair trial.”
On April 3, 2014, Kartel and his co-defendants, Shawn Storm and Adidja Palmer, were convicted in the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams, and sentenced to life in prison. The murder took place in 2011.
Williams’ body was never found. Kartel, Storm and Palmer were convicted on the testimony of a single witness.
Kartel was ordered to serve at least 35 years before he is eligible for parole. Storm and Palmer must serve 25 years before they are eligible for parole.
Despite losing the appeal, Kartel could have his sentence reduced. Appeals court Judges Frank Williams, Dennis Morrison and Patrick Brooks gave Kartel’s legal team one week to produce evidence to support claims proving that his prison sentence is excessive.