By Carter Maness
An appeal request for a new trial for Jamaican dancehall icon Buju Banton has been denied by a Florida judge. Banton, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges, filed a motion in July for a new trial, but was blocked by a Tampa Judge James Moody in a hearing earlier today (August 8).
According to Moody, the appeal was rejected because of a previous Atlanta appeals court ruling in June. Back then, a three-judge panel ruled that there was sufficient proof and evidence to convict the dancehall star. He concurred and saw no reason to revisit their decision.
The panel also sided with an original and additional gun possession charge, which an original trial judge tossed aside at sentencing back in 2011. The reemergence of the gun possession charge could up Banton's total sentence from 10 to 15 years.
Despite the rejection, Banton, real name Mark Myrie, has a tireless attorney in David Oscar Markus. "I plan on appealing again and will take this to the Supreme Court if I must," he told the Jamaica Gleaner.