BANTON TAKES STAND DAY 4 IN RETRIAL
It is now day four in the Buju Banton trial. Banton continued with testimony in his defense where he adamantly denied that he is a drug dealer and also continued to maintain his innocence while on the stand.
Banton stated that his conversations with the government informant Alexander Johnson were merely to “show off”
Federal prosecutor James Preston portrayed Buju as being broke and was eager to enter into a drug deal.
Fellow reggae artist and friends of Buju, Stephen Marley and Gramps Morgan took the stand as character witnesses for Banton yesterday. In their testimony, the two entertainers gave similar accounts of Buju’s personality and stated that they are not aware of Banton ever being involved in drugs.
A mistrial was declared in Buju Banton’s first trial in the United States, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in September 2010.
Banton’s second trial began on Monday February 14 in the Sam M Gibbons Federal court in Tampa, Florida.
He now faces charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence, and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.
Both defense and prosecution is expected to make their closing statements followed by the jury deliberating the Gargamel’s fate.
If found guilty Buju is facing up to 20 years in prison and up to $4 million USD fine.
Keep listening to music news as we follow the trial and bring you the latest from TAMPA.