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Buju may need new lead attorney

Published: Friday June 28, 2013 | 7:25 am Comments 0
Buju Banton  File
Buju Banton File

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Reggae superstar Buju Banton may need new attorneys to continue his legal bid to overturn his drug conviction.

This as Chokwe Lumumba, the lead attorney for the Grammy award-winning singer, gets set to take over as Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, on Monday.

Lumumba was elected Jackson's Mayor last month.

However, while conceding that Banton will likely need new attorneys, co-counsel Imhotep Alkebu-Lan, says no decision has yet been made.

Alkebu-lan says if Lumumba is unable to continue representing Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, he would recommend new attorneys.

Before that, however, he says the entertainer will have to decide whether to appeal Wednesday's ruling by US District Court Judge James Moody not to grant the entertainer's request for a retrial of Buju's drug conviction.

The judge has only thrown out Buju's gun conviction after accepting that jury forewoman Terri Wright disobeyed his instructions and researched aspects of the case on the internet.

This decision to throw out the gun conviction means Banton will only serve 10 years on the drug conviction, for now.

He was facing an additional five years for the gun-related offence.

The entertainer has 14 days to decide if he will appeal the ruling while prosecutors have 30 days to decide if they will challenge the decision to throw out the gun conviction.

Alkebu-lan says Banton is very disappointed that the whole case was not overturned, but he is being strong.

Meanwhile, Moody has instructed prosecutors to file contempt charges against Wright.

Last year, Buju changed his lead counsel David Oscar Markus.


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