Stephen Marley puts up his house for Buju

Stephen Marley puts up his house for Buju

Buju to attend court today

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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STEPHEN Marley has proven that he is truly a friend in deed. The son of Reggae king Bob Marley has put up his Miami-Dade house for bond in an effort to secure his friend Buju Banton's release from the Pinellas County Jail.

Two weeks ago Banton was offered bail with stringent conditions by United States Magistrate Anthony Porcelli as he awaits a second trial for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine.

One of the conditions stipulated that Banton had to secure a US$250,000 bond which was co-signed by his friend Joseph Chavalier, who had put up his St Petersburg home as security for the bond.

However, an appraisal of Chavalier's property revealed that its value was less than the US$250,000.

Stephen Marley then stepped up to fill the breach and has offered his house as security.

"Mr Myrie hereby notifies the Court that Stephen Marley, well-known entertainer and son of Bob Marley, and his wife Kertia DeCosta Marley, are willing to substitute as the signator for the bond in lieu of Mr Chavalier. His property is located in Miami-Dade county and has an approximate equity of $350,000. As evidence, Mr Myrie will provide the Court with a recent appraisal of the residence, a title search, a copy of deed and mortgages, outstanding mortgage balances, and affidavits from Mr Marley and his wife," court documents filed by Banton's lawyer David Markus stated.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is set to return to the US Gibbons Court today to show that he has met the bail requirements.

He must wear a tracking device and must have a security detail at all times. Under US law, the defendant must bear the cost of the security detail.

Myrie has contacted two private security companies willing to provide the service but they have been rejected by lead prosecutor James Preston who contends that the detail must include off-duty police officers.

But Markus contends that hiring off-duty cops is too expensive and is an additional burden to his client.

A representative of one of the security companies, the Florida Agency Of Investigations Inc, based in Key Largo, Florida, will be present at the hearing today.

The other company is Guardian Professional Security, which is located in Hollywood, Florida.

If Banton secures bail his attorney will immediately seek a bond in the Immigration Court as his entertainment visa was revoked upon his arrest.

He will also have to sign an extradition waiver.


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