US rapper rues lack of suppport for Kartel
AMERICAN rapper Spliff Star, who, along with Busta Rhymes, flew into the island this week to support jailed deejay Vybz Kartel, expressed disappointment that local artistes are not coming to court in support of their beleaguered colleague.
Spliff Star, who is of Trinidadian descent and appeared on Busta Rhymes' album The Coming, shared his observation with the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
"Other artistes in Jamaica should come and support him. I can't believe it. All Jamaican artistes should have stood up right here. Every artiste should have been right here," said Spliff Star, 38, whose given name is William Lewis.
"I don't like that. Ask yourself, if you were in that position wouldn't you want the support?" said Star, who, with Rhymes, was in the Number Two courtroom of the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston for a second day.
Star and Rhymes left the courthouse with Vybz Kartel's grandmother, Valda Palmer, sister Naydia Palmer and a cousin Chrisann McPherson. They were enveloped by a throng of supporters and media personnel on
Rhymes hugged and chatted with Kartel's relatives while supporters of the embattled DJ rallied
Rhymes (given name Trevor Smith Jr) has Jamaican roots and has previously collaborated with Kartel.
While unwilling to speak about the case, he was in the island to show his support.
"Me jus' waan support the family of Kartel and support everything dat is right," he said in Jamaican dialect.
Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer; Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm; Shane Williams; Andre St John; and Kahira Jones have been on trial since November 18 over allegations that they beat Clive 'Lizard' Williams to death at the entertainer's Havendale, St Andrew home, on August 16, 2011 over the disappearance of two illegal guns.
Meanwhile, presiding judge Justice Lennox Campbell in his second day of summation told jurors yesterday that this would be their last weekend on the trial. He indicated he would turn the case over for deliberation next week.
Lawyers seemed uneasy with aspects of Campbell's summation. His use of the word "scheme", in describing the defence of conspiracy, seemed to have ruffled the attorneys. An attorney was observed mouthing the word "scheme" in surprise.
The justice also apologised to the jurors for misquoting, on Thursday, the evidence during his summation. But following that correction, Jones's attorney, Pierre Rogers, had to correct him about misquoting the main witness's evidence regarding the time he testified he had reached Havendale with Williams.
Campbell again raised eyebrows among defence counsels when he said of the main witness: "The person who is dead is his friend." The jurors are to determine whether Williams is in fact dead.
Moments later, Campbell told the jurors that the main witness had testified that he was scared.
"Ladies and gentlemen, these are not soft guys. These are men who locked guns. These are men who you wouldn't think scare easily. Their knees wouldn't buckle easily. What he's telling you is that they were scared of the situation they were in," Campbell said.
Campbell will continue his summation on Monday.