Buju Wants Another Trial But Feds. Say No

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News Americas, TAMPA, FL, Fri. July 13, 2012: 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.

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.