Embattled dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, was found guilty today of the August 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams. The incident allegedly took place at Kartel’s home in Havendale, St Andrew. Williams’ body has never been found.
The 11-member jury handed down its verdict minutes after 6 p.m. in Jamaica (one hour behind daylight savings time on the East Coast), less than two hours after deliberations began. Also found guilty were Palmer’s associates, Shawn Campbell (a.k.a. Shawn Storm), Kahira Jones and Andre St. John; a fourth associate, Shane Williams, received the sole non-guilty verdict.
A strong police presence was assembled in downtown Kingston in the vicinity of the Supreme Court where the case was heard as Jamaica and Kartel supporters, as well as detractors, awaited the verdict.
The lead attorneys representing the Palmer, Tom Tavares-Finson and Christian Tavares-Finson have steadfastly maintained that the case is a conspiracy by the police to frame Palmer because the prosecution has failed to present any evidence linking the accused to the murder of Williams.
The 65-day trial is the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system.
The sentencing date is scheduled for March 27. Palmer’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal the verdict.