Sunday, June 26, 2011

Buju Banton sentenced to 10 years in jail

Tough times for Buju Banton... full story here. Excerpt below...

"Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton this morning was ordered to serve 10 years and one month in federal prison for conviction of cocaine trafficking.

The sentence could have been longer – a minimum of 15 years – had U.S. District Judge James Moody not granted a defense motion to dismiss a firearm charge because the singer did not have a gun during the crime, and the judge said Banton could not have known another conspirator had the weapon.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, did not speak at his sentencing hearing. He blew a kiss to his supporters in the courtroom as he was being led away, and a woman said, "We love you, Buju!"

The wildly popular Jamaican singer released a statement, read by his attorney, David Oscar Markus, after the sentencing, thanking his fans for their support and pledging to move forward: "The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and am hopeful. And that is sufficient to carry me through."

...Markus [Banton's lawyer] said with time already served – Banton has remained incarcerated since his conviction – and credit for good behavior, Banton should be released in about six years."

ADDED August 9, 2012: Buju Banton's appeal denied, sentence upheld. via Prefix mag.

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