#VybzKartelAppeal | Judge downplayed denial of wrongdoing in jury summation, says attorney
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
The outright denial by popular entertainer Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer of any involvement in the death of Clive 'Lizard' Williams was not treated fairly or adequately, one attorney has charged.
Oswest Senior-Smith, the attorney for Andre St John - one of the three men convicted of murder along with Kartel - was making legal submissions before the Court of Appeal this morning.
Senior-Smith cited the unsworn statement made during the murder trial by the dancehall artiste in which he proclaimed his innocence.
"Mr. Palmer categorically said he never sent anyone to kill Clive 'Lizard' Williams 'nor did I do it myself'," the attorney said, repeating a part of Kartel's unsworn statement to the jury during the trial.
But, according to Senior-Smith, this outright denial was not given sufficient weight by the presiding judge, Justice Lennox Campbell, in his directions to the eleven-member jury.
He said emphasis was, instead, placed on the men's assertion that there was a conspiracy by the police against them.
"So that was the defence the judge left to the jury instead of an outright denial," Senior-Smith argued.
St John was convicted of murder in April 2014 along with Kartel, fellow entertainer Shawn Storm and Kahira Jones for killing Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew in August 2011.
All four were given the mandatory life sentence with Kartel ordered to serve 35 years before he becomes eligible for parole.
Shawn Storm, whose real name is Shawn Campbell, Jones and St John were each ordered to serve 25 years before they are eligible for parole.