Feb 19, 2011

Buju trial to resume on Tuesday - No verdict yet


FLORIDA, USA – Jurors in the Buju Banton trial will resume deliberations on Tuesday after failing to reach a verdict today. Monday is a public holiday in the United States.
At 9:37 this morning Judge Jim Moody handed over the case to the jurors after spending more than an-half-hour addressing them on the law in relation to the charges against Banton.
The artiste appeared a bit more relaxed than he did this morning while heading to court.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been on trial in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court since Monday on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offence; and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offence.

The jurors were instructed to consider each charge separately.
In instructing the jurors, Moody said in order to reach a guilty verdict they all had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was a willing participant in a conspiracy, among other things. Regarding the firearm charge Moody said that the defendant had to knowingly possessed the firearm during the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime to be convicted.

The gun for which Banton has been charged was found in the car of a James Mack on December 10, 2009 during a drug sting operation. Banton was not on the scene when Mack was arrested and the gun found. The prosecution is contending that Banton, Mack and Ian Thomas conspired to possess and distribute the cocaine. Banton was arrested hours later at his Florida home.

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