Buju Banton jury to deliberate today


Jim Moody, the presiding judge in the Buju Banton drug case, is expected this morning to instruct the jury on the matters to consider in its deliberation on the reggae singer’s fate.

Banton whose real name is Mark Myrie is on trial on four drug and gun charges in a Tampa federal court.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

In his closing arguments yesterday Banton’s lawyer, David Oscar Markus declared that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt that the singer was involved in a conspiracy to possess cocaine.

According to Markus, neither has it been proven that he committed the other crimes for which he has been accused.

He begged the jury not to fall for what he says is the oldest trick in the book that of making several charges in the hopes that one will stick.

He said the charges brought against Buju have not been proven and has described as absurd the firearm and the aiding and abetting the commission of a felony through the use of a communication device charges.

He quoted from the novel to Kill a Mockingbird, saying it was a sin to kill a mockingbird because they sing to give people happiness.

However, Jim Preston the prosecutor has told the jury the government has met its burden to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt.

He also said were it not for Buju telling informant Alexander Johnson about his cocaine trade Johnson would not have had a job as a confidential informant.

He said the trial was not about Buju Banton, the reggae superstar but about Mark Myrie the drug conspirator.

Buju testified for nearly three hours yesterday and later told well-wishers outside the courtroom to remain confident for the victory of good over evil.