KINGSTON, Jamaica — Reggae artiste Buju Banton has been granted a right to an evidentiary hearing by US magistrate James Moody.
Buju will be taken before the US Sam Gibbons Court in Tampa, Florida on December 20.
The court is to look into an admission by female juror, Terri Wright, that she violated federal regulations and researched aspects of the case over the Internet during the trial in order to have a better grasp of the issues.
Wright said she had secretly researched the Pinkerton Law, which was used by the prosecution to connect Buju to an illegal firearm that was found in the possession of a co-conspirator, James Mack, during a cocaine transaction in a police-controlled warehouse in Tampa.
Along with Wright, three other jurors will appear before the court at the December hearing.
Banton was given a 10-year sentence for drug related charges and missed being slapped with an additional five years on a gun conviction. The recommended for an additional five years by an Appellate Court came after two motions filed by his newly appointed legal team that he should be granted a new trial. The first motion was for the judge to reconsider his prior sentence and reduce it. The second motion was for a new trial based on jury misconduct.
Yesterday lead attorney Chokwe Lumumba told the Jamaica Observer that the ruling was a fillip to his client’s case. “It means we can demonstrate that the juror was guilty of misconduct and they should grant a mistrial,” Lumumba said.