by Jodee Brown
Embattled Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has received a reprieve in his fight to overturn his drug conviction as a gun charge against the entertainer was dismissed during a hearing inside a Florida courtroom Wednesday afternoon.
CelebrityBuju BantonMark MyrieTerri WrightJuror misconductChokwe Lumumba
The ruling, handed down by Judge James Moody was made after it was determined that Terri Wright, a juror in Buju’s February 2011 drug trial, violated federal court orders by independently researching aspects of the singjay’s case. This means that Buju, currently serving a ten-year prison term on several drug-related charges, will not have to serve five additional years as a result of the gun charge, which was reinstated following a failed appeal last summer.
Judge Moody has ordered the United States government to slap a criminal contempt charge against Wright as a result of her alleged misconduct. Wright could face up to six months in prison, as well as a fine if found guilty on contempt.
Buju’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba maintains that he was happy about the judge’s rulings, but thinks the entire drug case against his client should have been thrown out, telling the Tampa Bay Times, “If we can’t believe her on the Pinkerton issue, we can’t believe her on anything else.”
Last October, Buju’s legal team requested that the entertainer’s drug conviction be overturned and that he be granted a new trial days after a report came out in a Florida newspaper that Wright had admitted to researching facts of Buju’s case on her laptop.
During a hearing in April, it was found that Wright has submitted the wrong hard drive to a forensic examiner hired by Buju’s legal team as they tried to determine whether Wright had researched aspects of the singer’s drug case during the February 2011 timeline. This revelation led to Wednesday’s hearing, where Wright was deemed to have lied about her behavior during the trial.