Grammy-Award winning, Jamaican-born reggae singer, Buju Banton, wants another trial, just over a year since his conviction on cocaine charges, but federal prosecutors say no way. Buju’s uphill legal battles seem to never end…
Banton’s attorney, David O. Markus, on Monday, July 9th, filed a motion in Tampa federal court seeking a new trial on all the charges, or least on the gun charge alone. But a day later, on July 10th, the U.S. government filed a motion to strike down the request.
Banton, born Mark Anthony Myrie, is serving a 10-year prison sentence. The gun charge carries an additional five-year sentence.
Last month, the federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld the Jamaican singer’s 2011 conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. The three-judge panel also sided with a Tampa jury’s conviction of Banton on a gun possession charge, which the trial judge tossed at his sentencing.
The signer’s first trial in 2010 ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked.
Banton released early dancehall singles in 1991, but came to prominence in 1992 with two albums, including “Mr. Mention,” which became the best-selling album in Jamaican history upon its release. Banton signed with major label Mercury Records and released Voice of Jamaica the following year. By the mid-1990s, Banton had converted to the Rastafari faith, and his music undertook a more spiritual tone. His 2010 album, “Before the Dawn,” was the winner for Best Reggae Album at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.