Vybz Kartel sentenced to life in prison for murder

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and three of his co-accused have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Willaimsby Jodee Brown

Controversial Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for the August 2011 murder of St. Catherine-based dancer, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams following a hearing in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Thursday.

The deejay will not be eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his prison term, when he is 73 years old. His co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John were also sentenced to life in prison, with the men not eligible for parole until 25, 25 and 30 years into their respective sentences, handed down by Supreme Court justice, Lennox Campbell.

Kartel was decked out in a full white suit and white shirt as he appeared cool and calm upon waiting for the judge’s ruling. Similar to last week’s hearing, the deejay maintained his innocence before the court, saying, through his lawyers, that he would not beg for mercy and accept the punishment handed down.

Justice Campbell that made a summation, saying there was premeditation and planning about the murder, while saying there was much distress for the family of the deceased Williams. He then handed down the sentences shortly before 11:30 a.m. Jamaican time.

Kartel’s legal team has indicated they will appeal his murder conviction before the end of this year.

Part of downtown Kingston was blocked a group of his loyal supporters gathered outside the courthouse, expressing anger and dismay at the sentencing, with some expressing uncontrollable sadness.

Jamaica threatened with expulsion from 2016 Olympics over drug testing issues

jamaicaOlympics2by Jodee Brown

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA has issued a stern warning to one of track and field’s most prominent nations as Jamaica could face expulsion from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro if the local government fails to address inadequacies in its drug testing program.

British newspaper, the Telegraph reported Wednesdayevening that WADA’s general director, David Howmanhas urged Jamaica to look into is drug testing policy after explosive accusations by former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) head, Anne Shirley that the island has not done enough to prevent drug use amongst its athletes.

In an article for Sports Illustrated, Shirley, who quit asJADCO president in February, accused Jamaican politicians and administrators of ignoring her constant warnings regarding the issue while claiming recent positive tests returned by Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson and others were a ‘disaster’ waiting to happen. Additionally, she revealed that JADCO only did one out-of-competition drug test in five months prior to last year’s Olympics in London, England.

Following these claims, Howman has threatened that should these issues not be resolved, WADA could deem JADCO non-compliant with its code of conduct, which could affect Jamaica’s participation in the 2016 summer games as well as other, upcoming track and field events.

“Our normal approach if we have issues falling into the category of either complaint or concern is to try to work with the particular signatory – in this case the Nada [national anti-doping agency] – and remedy it,”Howman said, according to the Telegraph. “If nothing happens, we can ask our board to declare any of the signatories non-compliant and that has implications as to whether teams from the country would be admitted into various events.”

He continued, “It’s serious. And I think that if responsible people in Jamaica are looking at it then they will address it. I would be disappointed if they didn’t. But, certainly, if there’s a lack of response then it’s something that we at WADA would want to take up with the Jamaican government.”

“We’ve worked closely with Jamaica for a number of years. I was down there a few years ago to try to look after issues we felt needed to be addressed and they were then addressed by the government of the day.”

“We knew that there was a spell in Jamaica where they didn’t have a CEO and there was a spell when they were not conducting testing and we didn’t know the reason for that. But that was certainly something that we became aware of.”

Howman also added that he has a very positive relationship with Jamaica’s prime minister and former sports minister, Portia Simpson-Miller and believes they can work towards a solution that will help strengthen the country’ drug policies and testing regiments.

The Jamaican track team is coming off a nine-medal haul at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Double 100m Olympic champions, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce each walked away with three gold medals while the 4 by 400m team won silver, Warren Weir won silver in the 200m and Nesta Carter won bronze in the 100m.