Entertainment

'Merciless' tells 'Ninja' to write positive lyrics behind bars

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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DANCEHALL artiste “Merciless” is encouraging fellow entertainer “Ninjaman” to use the time that he will spend behind bars to write positive and uplifting music.

The entertainer made the suggestion minutes after Ninjaman's sentencing, which was slated for yesterday, was postponed until Monday in the Home Circuit Court.

Ninjaman, whose real name is Desmond Ballentyne, was found guilty of murder and shooting with intent by a seven-member jury on November 20 this year.

Ninjaman's co-accused — his son, Janiel, and Dennis Clayton — were also found guilty for the murder of Ricardo Johnson, also known as “Trooper”, in March 2009.

“Gwaan (go and) write some great songs and if dem let you out fi come voice and bring you back in, just come sing positivity,” said Merciless, whose given name is Leonard St Ledger Bartley.

Merciless, who had come to support the veteran entertainer, said: “I am here today at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston because Ninjaman is a great friend of mine… Me nuh want Ninjaman go a nuh prison because I wouldn't wish prison on my worst enemy.”

“Moreover, Ninjaman is not my enemy, we just clashed in the music business. He helped lot of youths and did lots of good [for] reggae music,” Merciless said of his fellow entertainer.

Ninjaman, he added, allowed a number of younger entertainers to earn money to buy houses and cars, and he asked the court to have leniency on him during his sentencing.

Ninjaman's attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson, told the court that she intended to call two character witnesses.

The entertainer was arrested in 2009 and was remanded in custody for three years before he was offered bail.

— See related story on Page 18

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