Dancehall star Vybz Kartel caught a break today when he was found not guilty in one of his two murder cases.
Yesterday Home Circuit Judge Bryan Sykes denied a motion by the prosecution to have a witness statement be entered into evidence.
After three days of hearing arguments from both prosecution and Kartel’s lawyers, Sykes sided with the defence on the matter telling prosecutors that he was not convinced they had made enough effort to locate the witness, who is believed to be in hiding.
The judge directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.
Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, was on trial for the murder of Barrington “Bossy” Burton. He was charged with conspiracy to murder, possession of a firearm, and murder in October 2011 after a burned body was found in a residence that he was known to visit or own.
According to official police report, Burton, who is a St. Catherine promoter, was gunned down in Gregory Park on 12 July 2011.
Nigel Thompson and Lenburgh McDonald were also charged with Burton’s murder. Both men were also acquitted of the murder charge and were set free.
Kartel will remain in custody pending a second murder case. He will return to court in November for the trial in connection to the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
This is the second case Kartel has been freed from after drug charges stemming from his initial arrest in September 2011 were dropped in June of last year.