#UpToTheTime: A timeline of Vybz Kartel's 10 years behind bars
Vybz Kartel

Today, September 29, 2021, marks 10 years since the self-proclaimed 'Worl' Boss' has been behind bars.

Since his arrest, the decade-long journey of Vybz Kartel's fall from glory has been largely publicised in both local and international media.

OBSERVER ONLINE has put together a timeline of some highlights from the case that is largely considered Jamaica's most enthralling.

September 29, 2011

Vybz Kartel was arrested at a New Kingston hotel. He was charged with possession of a small quantity of ganja after police from the Flying Squad searched his hotel room.

October 3, 2011 - First charges

The deejay, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is slapped with more charges including murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm. The additional charges were laid after interviews were conducted by the Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT). According to an Observer report on October 4, 2011, allegations were that “on Monday, July 11, 2011, Palmer, along with other men, conspired to murder Barrington Burton o/c 'Bossie', a 27-year-old businessman/promoter of a Gregory Park address in St Catherine. Burton was murdered while he was standing with friends along Walkers Avenue in Gregory Park.”

October 4, 2011

The deejay appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court and was denied bail.

March 23, 2012

The entertainer was granted $3 million bail but remained in jail in connection to a second murder, that of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

January 21, 2013

The trial for the murder of Barrington Burton was postponed due to lack of jurors. It was rescheduled for July 11.

July 24, 2013

Vybz Kartel was found not guilty of the murder of Barrington Burton but remained in custody on the second murder charge.

November 18, 2013

The trial for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams began in the Home Circuit Court with jury selection. Jury selection was completed on November 20 that same year. The prosecution then outlined its case against Kartel and the four co-accused.

January 2014

Corporal Shawn Brown of the Communications and Forensic Unit of OCID introduced the text messages he retrieved from the cellular phones attributed to Shawn Storm, Vybz Kartel and the murder victim. There was a message from a phone attributed to Lizard sent to his girlfriend's phone on August 16, 2011, pleading with her to call the police, saying: "Teecha send call we," and he feared for his life. On January 29, 2014, The Crown alleged that Clive 'Lizard' Williams was beaten to death on August 16, 2011, at Kartel's house in Havendale, St Andrew, over two missing guns.

March 6, 2014 

The judge began summation. On March 13, 2014, Kartel and three co-accused were found guilty. They are Shawn Campbell aka Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones and Andre St John. The fourth co-accused, Shane Williams was found not guilty. Sentencing for all four men was set for March 27.

The 65-day trial was, at the time, the longest-running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica's circuit court system.

April 3, 2014

Justice Lennox Campbell, in Jamaica's Supreme Court, sentenced Vybz Kartel to life in prison. He will not be eligible for parole until he serves 35 years of his life sentence. Shawn Campbell and Kahira Jones also received life sentences. They will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years of their life sentences. Andre St. John will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years of his life sentence.

March 2017

Kartel and his three co-accused were granted leave to appeal their convictions and sentence by the Court of Appeal.

December 2, 2019

Appeal Court judges, via the Court Registrar in a letter, said judgement was in an advance stage of preparation.

April 3, 2020

Vbyz Kartel's much-anticipated appeal was dismissed in the Court of Appeal in downtown Kingston.

September 25, 2020

Vybz Kartel and his co-accused have been granted conditional leave to go to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom to challenge their murder conviction. Despite being incarcerated for a decade, Kartel continues to hold a strong presence in dancehall. Through several new releases between his sentencing and today, the entertainer has managed to maintain his status as 'King of the dancehall'. 

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?