HOLD ON! - Ninja to know fate on Monday

Observer writer

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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NINJAMAN will have to wait until Monday to know his fate, as sentencing was postponed when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston yesterday.

The deejay's attorney, Queen's Counsel Valerie Neita-Robertson, explained to the Jamaica Observer the reason for the delay.

“Mr Gladstone Wilson was not there, so the sentencing was postponed till Monday,” she told the Observer.

Wilson is the defence attorney for co-accused Dennis Clayton.

Neita-Robertson denied media reports that the absence of a character witness was also a factor.

“I don't know how or where these rumours come from. We cannot proceed without Mr Clayton's lawyer being there, and that is the reason for the postponement,” she said.

Ninjaman (given name Desmond Ballentine), his son Jahneil, and Clayton are facing life in prison sentences for the 2009 murder of Ricardo “Ricky Trooper” Johnson in Kingston. The men were found guilty on November 20.

According to police reports, Ninjaman, Jahneil, and Clayton were among several men who entered a yard on Mall Road in Olympic Gardens on March 16, 2009. They fired shots at a man who fled the premises, but 20-year-old Johnson was fatally shot.

The men were subsequently arrested and charged for his murder. Ninjaman spent three years at the Horizon correctional centre in Kingston and was granted bail in 2012 in the sum of $2 million dollars.

On October 17, he was taken into custody after High Court judge, Justice Martin Gayle revoked his bail and ordered that the trial commence immediately.

A native of St Mary, Ninjaman rose to prominence in the 1980s. His first hit song was, Cover Me, featuring Tinga Stewart.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Ninjaman faced several run-ins with the law. In recent years, however, he opted to project a positive image through social media and more community involvement.

He also experienced a career resurgence after signing with Josef Bogdanovich-owned Downsound Records label for two years.

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