Music

Tommy Lee bound over

BY SADE GARDNER
Observer writer

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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DANCEHALL deejay Tommy Lee Sparta will remain in custody until next Tuesday, according to his new attorney Tom Tavares-Finson.

The top-flight lawyer and Donahue Martin were retained yesterday to represent the deejay, who was taken from Half-Way-Tree police lock-up in Kingston to the Freeport Police Station in St James on Monday. Prior to this, the entertainer was being represented by Ernie Smith.

“This morning a habeas corpus application was made in the Montego Bay Parish Court before Parish Judge Sandria Wong Small,” Tavares-Finson told the Jamaica Observer. “The bottom line is, the prosecution is to indicate by next Tuesday the basis for his detention, whether it be in relation to a criminal matter or if he was detained under the state of emergency. As it is today, we don't know the basis of his detention, so the judge made that ruling and we are happy with that.”

A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to appear before a judge to request for a release, unless lawful grounds are provided to show reasons for their detention.

The entertainer is also scheduled to do question-and-answer interview with investigators from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ealan Powell, commanding officer for the public state of emergency in St James, was unable to say when the interview will take place. He, however, gave the reason for the entertainer's detention.

“I can't say when the question-and-answer interview will be done, but he's being investigated for crimes committed in St James,” ACP told Observer.

Tommy Lee Sparta (given name Leroy Russell) was taken in custody at the Half-Way-Tree Police Station by C-TOC officers last Saturday night.

And this is not the first time he has popped up on the police's radar.

He, along with three others, were charged jointly in February 2014 with suspected breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act, 2013. The trial was scheduled to begin last October.

In June 2017, he was questioned and subsequently released by members of the Elleston Road Police Station about a shooting in the division. In January that same year, former head of the St James Police division, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth listed the artiste as a person of interest in relation to crime in sections of Flanker in St James.

A former member of Vybz Kartel's Portmore Empire, Tommy Lee Sparta is known for songs including Psycho, Buss A Blank, and We Want Paper.

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