After being found guilty of murder earlier in the month, Jamaican dancehall and reggae artist Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 35 years.
“As far as [Kartel] is concerned, we are not surprised about the sentence based on the posture of the judge at this stage,” one of Kartel’s lawyers, Christian Tavares-Finson, told the Jamaica Gleaner.
The 38 year old, real name Adidja Palmer, received the harshest sentence of his three co-conspirators in the 2011 murder of associate Clive “Lizard” Williams.
Williams is said to have been murdered after stealing two guns from Kartel and members of his crew. Although the body was never found, damning text messages from Kartel admitting to the murder and disposal of the body is what broke the case wide open.
The text messages read: “Tween me an u a chop we chop up the bwoy Lizard fine fine,” Kartel allegedly wrote. “Yeah man a mince meat dat … As long as u live dem can never find him.”
What happens now? Kartel and his team is preparing to appeal the conviction.
“We will be appealing both conviction and sentence on instructions from our clients. Kartel has maintained his innocence, and that he’s interested in appealing his conviction,” attorney Christian Tavares-Finson stated.
Justice Lennox Campbell is currently considering whether Kartel should be allowed to record and release music while incarcerated.
The artist has already released a 61-song album since his arrest in 2011. Justice Campbell will also determine whether the proceeds should be provided to the victim’s family.