Buju Banton Mistrial Declared by Judge
The jury in the Buju Banton drug conspiracy trial could not come to a verdict, so the judge handling the case has declared a mistrial. The reggae star is facing charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and illegal possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a crime.
After breaking Friday [Sept. 24] afternoon, leaving Buju Banton to wait another two days to learn his fate, the jury reconvened on Monday [Sept. 27] only to tell the judge they were unable to reach an agreement. The 12-member Tampa jury had been deliberating since Thursday after a four-day trial, and given their inability to come to a decisive verdict, the judge was forced to declare a mistrial in the case against the Jamaican. While this is a temporary reprieve, it now means the star faces additional time in prison while he awaits the conclusion of the trial. Buju Banton’s attorney is asking the judge to release him on bond. Banton has been held without bond since his arrest last Dec. 10.
“This has been a long journey,” Vice president of Buju Banton’s Gargamel Music, Tracii McGregor, told the Jamaican Observer. “We were hoping for a resolution, but that was not to be. We have no choice but to remain patient, keep our prayers up and maintain faith that eventually Buju will be free.”
Incidentally, Buju Banton’s highly anticipated new record, ‘Before the Dawn,’ was released today.