Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, was found guilty today of the August 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.
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.
The incident allegedly took place at Kartel’s home in Havendale, St Andrew. Williams’ body has never been found.
The 65-day trial was the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system. The 11-member jury handed down its verdict less than two hours after deliberations began.
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 Palmer, Tom Tavares-Finson and Christian Tavares-Finson have 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 sentencing date is scheduled for March 27. Palmer’s lawyers have said they will appeal the verdict.