Vybz Kartel: Jamaican dancehall star sentenced to life in jail for murder

Kartel will not be eligible for parole until he is 73

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The Independent Online

Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of an associate. He will not be eligible for parole until he is 73.

Judge Lennox Campbell ruled Kartel must serve 35 years behind bars after a jury convicted the 38-year-old and three co-defendants of killing Clive "Lizard" Williams in March, who was beaten to death in August 2011 after being lured to Kartel's house to answer for two missing guns. His body has never been found.

Police in the case 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.

The trial lasted 65 days, the longest in Jamaica's history.

Police in riot gear watched over barricaded streets outside the court in downtown Kingston where dozens of onlookers stood awaiting the sentencing.

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.

Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said he is expected to file an appeal on behalf of Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer.

Kartel has been in remand since 2011 but has continued to record songs from his prison cell using his smart phone. His music continues to be in high demand in Jamaica.

Over the years, he has collaborated with international artists including Jay-Z, Rihanna and Busta Rhymes. Rhymes travelled to Jamaica to attend the last day of Kartel's trial as a show of support.