Vybz Kartel: Jamaican dancehall star found guilty of murder

Kartel and three other defendants have been convicted of killing of Clive "Lizard" Williams in a row over a missing gun

Hundreds of Jamaicans chanted "free Kartel" outside court as the popular dancehall star Vybz Kartel was today found guilty of murder following a high-profile trial.

As police in riot gear guarded barricaded streets outside Kingston's Supreme Court, ten members of an 11-person jury found Kartel and the three others guilty of the October 2011 killing of Clive "Lizard" Williams in a row over a missing gun.

One defendant was cleared of wrongdoing.

The day's session started amid heavy security as police blocked streets off surrounding the courts.

About 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting "free Kartel" shortly before the jury started their deliberations in the afternoon.

Prosecutors alleged Williams was beaten to death at Kartel's home in August 2011 after being lured there to answer for two missing illegal guns.

 

His body has never been found. Police 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.

Defence lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson had told jurors the prosecution's case against Kartel was "dishonest" and "incompetent," noting that witness statements and a compact disc with evidence saved on it somehow went missing.

In a bizarre twist, a male juror was arrested on Thursday evening on charges of attempting to bribe the jury foreman in an attempt to influence the panel to free Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer.

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. 

Authorities confirmed the arrest but disclosed few details.

Sentencing is set for 27 March. Lawyers acting for Kartel have indicated they will appeal against the verdict.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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