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UPDATE: I won't stop fighting for my friend, says Buju's lawyer
2012-08-07 17:17:15 | (0 Comments)
Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
David Oscar Markus, the lawyer for reggae super star Buju Banton says he will be appealing the decision of federal judge, James Moody, to deny the request for a retrial of the artiste on drug charges.
Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had filed for a new trial after losing his appeal against the 10-year prison sentence he is now serving on the charges.
But Markus is not giving up.
"I plan on appealing again and will take this to the Supreme Court if I must," he told The Gleaner.
"I won't stop fighting for my friend and brother," Markus added.
READ: Buju loses retrial bid, could get another five years on gun charge
In June, the United States Court of Appeal rejected all the claims in the Grammy-winning entertainerís appeal and sided with prosecutors.
The Appeals Court had also said the trial judge could consider retrying the matter.
However, it agreed with the juryís decision to find the entertainer guilty on the firearm charge.
That charge had been dismissed by Moody after the jury delivered its verdict.
With the Atlanta Appeal Court ruling that there is sufficient evidence to convict the reggae star on the gun charge, Buju will go back to court for a new sentencing hearing where he faces the prospect of an additional five years behind bars.
Last year, a jury found Buju guilty of drugs and gun charges but Moody did not sentence him on the gun charge because the Jamaican had never met or spoken with James Mack, his co-accused who was held with the gun.
Lawyers representing Buju challenged the ruling but the Appeals Court upheld the decision while sending the matter back to the lower court to decide if Buju should be retried.
Just over one year ago Buju, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offence and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offence.
The conviction carried a 15-year prison sentence but with Moody throwing out the gun conviction, it lowered Buju's sentence to 10 years.
The Appeal Court had argued that, "Given Myrie's familiarity with the drug trade the jury could have reasonably concluded that the carrying or using of a gun by a co-conspirator was a reasonably foreseeable action...".
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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