*Following an arrest on Friday Sept. 29, Jamaica’s Major Investigation Taskforce (MIT) last night charged dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel (born Adidja Palmer) with murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
MIT detectives made the charges against Kartel last night, following an interrogation of the artist yesterday afternoon in the presence of his attorneys, reports Billboard.com. He is scheduled to appear in Kingston’s Half-Way Tree Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (Oct. 5).
Police charge that on July 11, 2011, Kartel along with other men conspired to murder Barrington ‘Bossie’ Burton, a 27-year-old businessman and music promoter based in the Kingston suburb of Portmore. Burton was murdered while standing with friends along Walkers Avenue in the Gregory Park area of Portmore.
Kartel was arrested by members of the Flying Squad division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force on Friday, Sept. 30 and charged with possession of a small quantity of marijuana confiscated in a Kingston hotel room where he was staying during the filming of his reality dating show “Teacha’s Pet,” which debuted on Jamaica’s CVM TV network on Sept. 23.
The premise of “Teacha’s Pet” finds 20 women living in a Kingston house vying for the artist’s affection; the show’s lascivious content elicited condemnation of its sponsor, telecommunications company LIME. Those criticisms were heightened with Kartel’s arrest last week; in light of yesterday’s charges, LIME just issued a statement cancelling “Teacha’s Pet,” effective immediately.
After being escorted from the unidentified hotel on Friday, Kartel was handcuffed and escorted by police to several premises he regularly frequents, while searches were conducted by a team from the Caribbean Search Center. The entourage first visited Kingston’s upscale Norbrook community where the DJ resides, then went to a property on Swallowfield Avenue in Kingston’s Havendale area. That residence was the scene of a fire several weeks ago; a scorched computer hard-drive and several boxes were removed. The entourage then drove to Portmore to a home purportedly owned by Kartel’s mother, where a number of items were similarly confiscated.
Kartel was detained over the weekend allegedly in relation to a partially burned, decomposing body found inside the Swallowfield Avenue home. Although the artist has been arrested several times by Jamaican authorities (he was detained for two weeks in July 2010) this is the first time he has been charged with a crime.