JUSTICE Lennox Campbell yesterday instructed jurors to examine the evidence in the murder trial against entertainer Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused separately so as not to summarily convict or acquit the men.
With more than 60 days of the trial gone, the 11-member panel of jurors seemed at times jaded yesterday but after a late start due to the absence of one of their number, Justice Campbell began to sum up the evidence.
“You are the sole judges of the facts in this case. It is not the judge’s verdict that is asked for, but yours and yours alone. Your verdict need not be the same for all. Review the evidence against all separately,” Justice Campbell said, as he continued his summation of the high-profile murder case in the High Court in downtown Kingston.
The judge yesterday spent considerable time summing up the evidence of the prosecution star witness who he reminded the jurors was the only eyewitness in the case.
He told the jurors that the witness’ evidence had changed under cross-examination as it related to a light on a cellular phone, which he first told the court was constant but recanted to say it was flashing during cross-examination from defence attorney Pierre Rodgers.
He informed the jurors that eyewitness and voice identification evidence were very fragile and they had to consider a number of factors when considering the evidence in those two areas.
“I must, therefore, warn you to be very careful to convict anyone on eyewitness evidence. There have been wrongful convictions in the past,” he said.
He said the jury must consider the length of time the witness had to see, the kind of lighting available, distance, and how long the witness knew the accused men.
“Voice identification poses the same type of danger. People sound like people. The danger is more acute,” Justice Campbell said.
He also told the jurors that the only evidence entered against Shane Williams was a voice identification on a video, which was tendered into evidence by the prosecution.
The judge also mentioned the witness’ testimony that he was invited to fly to Guyana with Kartel and Shawn Campbell to avoid being questioned and his refusal at one point to embark on the flight.
“He had never travelled overseas before with Mr Palmer so you may well ask yourselves why? Why that invitation?” he said.
Justice Campbell also spoke to claims by the defence that the star witness had concocted a story with the police to avoid a firearm-related charge.
He said the first statement given to the police by the witness was done eight days after the alleged murder on August 16, 2011.
“The question I ask myself, Madame foreman, and your members, is when that statement was given how would the police know? Eight days after the police gave the witness a statement and answer it? How did the police know that ‘Lizard’ would not be seen again?” he said.
Earlier in the proceedings, before the jurors were ushered into the courtroom, defence attorney Tom Tavares-Finson and Justice Campbell briefly faced off after Tavares-Finson asked the reason two notes were handed to the court registrar by the prosecution during his summation last week.
“What notes would that be?” Justice Campbell said.
“The notes were handed to me by the registrar. Maybe you can ask him,” Justice Campbell said.
“The registrar is right here maybe your lordship could make the request?” Tavares-Finson asked.
“I will make no such request,” Justice Campbell said sternly.
“The notes contained corrections to your summation,” a defiant Tavares-Finson continued.
“This is very unusual, Mr Finson. I would have thought that after the judge’s summation he would ask the defence if anything [was] left out?” The judge said.
At that point attorney Susan Dodd, who is a part of Shawn ‘Storm’ Campbell’s defence team, rose to her feet and informed the judge that the notes were correcting him after he referred to a male cop as ‘she’.
“I rarely mix up the sexes like that,” Justice Campbell said jokingly.
Justice Campbell has so far summed up the evidence of about a dozen witnesses from a total of 31 and is expected to continue his summation this morning.
Vybz Kartel, Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones, Andre St John and Shane Williams have been charged for the alleged murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
(PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)
Source: Jamaica Observer
The first video for his single Party Tun Up received tremendous backlash from members of the public who felt Mr Vegas had used too many white girls in the video.
Now, with the remix doing really well in local and international spheres, expectation mounts surrounding the release of its official music video which features Sean Paul and international artiste Fatman Scoop.
In an interview with The STAR, Mr Vegas sought to blast critics who he says need to get away from the backward thinking to see beyond black and white.
“When I’m doing music I don’t see colour, I see talent. I have done music videos with girls of every race, as long as they are professional and talented. Music has no colour,” he said.
The date of the official release of the music video for Party Tun Up remix is still unknown but Mr Vegas hints that it may be sometime this week and says the dancing in the video is something to look forward to.
“The vibe in the video is just pure fun. The dances were choreographed by Tanisha Scott and parts of the video were shot in Italy and New York City,” he said.
The entertainer also sought to clear the air surrounding the recent Instagram fallout between himself and fellow artiste Tony Matterhorn.
Last month Mr Vegas released a song voicing his opinion about the seemingly raunchy turn dancehall had taken, hitting out against deejays Tony Matterhorn and Alkaline. The song seemingly struck a chord with Matterhorn who took to the social networking site to blast Vegas. In various video posts, Matterhorn accuses Vegas of getting a tummy tuck and calls him an ‘Obeah man monkey’ with Vegas responding “see the song yah weh a cause problem, but mi stand by it 100%.”
Vegas admitted to The STAR that he was not particularly fond of Instagram and only posted things on the site to answer Matterhorn’s comments. He however, said he doesn’t plan to take the showdown beyond social media.
“Matterhorn is a character innu, always in the middle of things and I was overjoyed at his default so I seized the opportunity to respond and now we’re even at 1-1,” he said.
He also took the time to update his fans on his upcoming trailer Bruk it Dung to Reality. “We are working out the budget right now. The last thing we want is for it to come out and flop so we’re ensuring that everything is done properly.” He also said that expectations surrounding the series is high and he wants to ensure that the product is all about entertainment and not Mr Vegas.
MARCH 7, 2014: International artiste Busta Rhymes on Friday attended the Vybz Kartel murder trial for the second straight day. The artiste said he decided to attend to show his support for the Jamaican dancehall artiste and his family.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Mavado – Friends With Benefits – Igloo Riddim © 2014
Produced by So Unique Records
Only last year there were talks of wedding bells for dancehall couple Ishawna and Foota Hype, but now the singer says their relationship has ended.
In April last year, congratulatory words flowed their way when it was announced that the two would be getting married after nearly a decade together.
But yesterday, Ishawna disclosed that she has parted ways with selector Foota Hype.
“It’s done, I am just doing me,” she told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“We have to deal with each other regardless ’cause we work together. There is no bad vibe or anything, but because of personal issues, we call it quits. Sometimes, that’s just how it is in life, nobody knows the answer.”
She was, however, tight-lipped about the reason for the split that she says took place a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, she says she does not expect there to be any awkwardness between them despite being in the relationship for almost nine years and having a child together.
“Winnie and Nelson Mandela had a child together and they still worked together. It’s just one of those things, I don’t know what the future holds. At this moment, we both understand that this is not working. At the end of the day, I still have love for him,” Ishawna said.
“We still have to work together because we are still signed to Downsound Records. No animosity or anything … we had such a public relationship, so we have to let the people know that we are no longer attached in that way. I am not gonna say I hate him ’cause I don’t. It’s not working right now, and I just want to focus on my career,” she added.
With her career as her main focus, Ishawna says she is still promoting Need Loveand plans to shoot the music video soon. She also added that she has collaborated with Beenie Man for a song called Hottest Gal, and she is also featured on another song with Specialist.
“Everything Nice,” the first single from Popcaan’s forthcoming debut album on Mixpak is out now.
Directed by Jay Will
Produced by Carleene Samuels
Creative Direction by Susannah Webb
Stylist: Savannah Baker
Stylist’s Assistant: Phoebe Smith
“Everything Nice” is produced by Dubbel Dutch.
Tessanne Chin In Performance at The White House – Women of Soul – 3/6/14
JAMAICAN singer Tessanne Chin delivered a scintillating, high-energy performance of Donna Summer’s Last Dance at the White House last night, earning sustained applause from an audience headed by US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Chin, who performed after Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monae, and Melissa Etheridge, justified her inclusion in the stellar line-up for the ‘Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House’ staged by the US first lady.
At the end of her performance, as Chin returned to her seat, she was greeted with a hug and a kiss by Patti LaBelle.
Here she is seen in a screen grab from the White House’s live stream of the concert.
(PHOTO: NAPHTALI JUNIOR)
Source: Jamaica Observer
THE entrance to the Waterford housing scheme in Portmore, St Catherine, is littered with spray-painted signs declaring ‘We Love you
LA Lewis’, but it is a different scene inside the working-class community.
The word ‘Gaza’ is scrawled on everything — from a cook shop to a mural bearing Jamaica’s National Heroes. It is a show of widespread support for jailed deejay Vybz Kartel who grew up in the neighbourhood.
It is also where the lanky entertainer ran his Portmore or Gaza Empire.
Kartel is charged jointly with fellow entertainer Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, Shane Williams and André St John for the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams at Kartel’s home in Havendale, St Andrew.
Yesterday. High Court judge, Justice Lennox Campbell, began his summation of the case in the Home Circuit Court.
When the Splash team visited Waterford recently, a group of young men on Block 5 were enjoying a game of ludo while aspiring artistes rehearsed songs. No Games, a collaboration between Kartel and Gaza Slim (one of his protégés) blared from a nearby residence.
Despite the charges against him, support for Kartel (Adidja Palmer) is intact.
“Living in Waterford has inspired my decision to pursue music. Not only have I seen an’ experience a lot here, but this is the homeland of the ‘Wurl Boss’, Vybz Kartel. He along with others help pave the way for artistes like myself,” said Romaine Pottinger, a deejay known as Tussan Gaza.
A few blocks away, Marcus McDonald, operator of five-month-old VyTek Recording Studios, was busy ‘voicing’ several young acts.
“I open my doors to any good talents and Waterford is overflowing with that. The youths here use music as an avenue to escape any negativity that they may encounter,” McDonald explained.
Some Waterford youth claim that since Kartel’s incarceration nearly three years ago, they have been victims of police harassment.
“On (Kartel’s) court days is like a campaign, they terrorise us. We are not saying that they should not do their job, but we hate the intimidation. We are not bad men… we just want to do music,” Pottinger explained.
His sentiments were echoed by the circle of Kartel supporters around him, who say they have been hauled into police vehicles and driven around for hours before being released.
Also on Block 5 is a wall dedicated to Kartel and his Portmore Empire. His support here crosses the generation gap.
“Kartel is not that evil as society makes it seem. They pushed him against a corner and he fights back. It’s not an inborn concept, is about survival,” said upcoming poet and Waterford resident Richard Palmer (no relation to Vybz Kartel).
Eighty-seven-year-old Dorothy Bailey lives next to Kartel’s childhood home. She recalled his antics.
“Oh Lord, I used to flog him whenever he would cut school… something that is common among young boys. However, he excelled academically and isn’t easily fooled,” she said. “All those things that I hear that ‘Addi’ do is hard to believe; I don’t know him as that type of person.”
None of Kartel’s supporters believe he committed murder and are confident an 11-member jury will find him not guilty. Until then, they anxiously wait on the Gaza strip for their hero’s return.
Source: Jamaica Observer
Dancer/businesswoman Keiva Di Dancehall Diva had heads spinning when she recently celebrated her birthday at Di Entrance in Kingston.
Making her grand entry at 2:15 a.m., to Gary Chucks’ selection of Here Comes The Bride, Keiva pushed the boundaries of dancehall fashion once more to make her entrance wearing a transparent wedding dress, while doing the traditional wedding march. The only thing missing was a groom and the bridal party.
Patrons screamed, applauded and plucked out their cell phones to capture the spectacle.
The lady of the night instantly had patrons flocking her, some either gave her an embrace or wished her happy birthday. She later thanked her supporters.
“If dem artiste yah shell mi party one time, mi fight every one a dem, if mi love Ninja Man one more time mi baptise, if mi love Bounty Killer one more time mi tun nun and start wear pure long dress,” she said, laughing as she highlighted her supporters.
The event was attended by a sea of local recording artistes and dancers.