MIAMI, Aug 8, CMC – A Miami court has turned down a request by convicted Jamaican Reggae singer, Buju Banton, for a new trial and he now faces the possibility of more than the original 10 years in jail.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had appealed an earlier conviction where he had been found guilty on drug-related charges last year.
On Tuesday, Federal Judge James Moody denied Buju’s request for a new trial saying there is no need for one following an earlier ruling by the Atlanta Appeal Court that there was sufficient evidence to convict the reggae star on a gun charge.
Banton was arrested in December 2009 and later accused of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence and using a telephone to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.
After his first trial ended in a hung jury, he returned to court in February 2011 where he was convicted on all three charges but had a gun charge, which had been tacked on prior to his second trial revoked as it was deemed that he neither spoke to nor met James Mack, a co-accused in the case who was held possessing a firearm.
Court officials said that new ruling meant that the singer will appear before a judge for a new sentencing hearing and he faces the prospect of an additional five years in jail.
The Grammy Award singer’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, said he intends to appeal the new court ruling.
“I will take this to the Supreme Court if I must, I won’t stop fighting for my friend and brother,” Markus said.