DANCEHALL artiste Vybz Kartel and his five co-accused all pleaded not guilty on the first day of their murder trial in the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston, yesterday.
Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidjah Palmer; Shawn ‘Storm’ Campbell; Kahira Jones; André St John; stylist Calvin ‘Moonie’ Haye; and Shane Williams are charged with the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
Police accuse the men of summoning Williams and another man to a house in Havendale, St Andrew, to give account for a missing firearm. The other man escaped, but Williams’ body was never found.
Homicide investigators claim they have video footage and audio recordings which tie the men to the August 2011 murder.
The other man is said to be a lead witness for the prosecution.
Yesterday, Vybz Kartel and the other accused men, with the exception of Haye, were handcuffed and taken inside the courtroom before Justice Lennox Campbell who will be presiding over the trial.
Haye was granted bail at an earlier court appearance.
The handcuffs were removed as the men entered the dock.
So far, nine jurors — five males and four females — have been selected by defence attorneys and the prosecution, which is being led by Jeremy Taylor.
While jury selection was underway, Kartel could be seen animatedly chatting with his co-defendant Shawn Campbell. Both sported ‘wild’ hairstyles and tattoos on their skin bearing signs of being ‘bleached’.
When the day’s proceedings came to an end, Haye had his bail extended, while the five other men were remanded, handcuffed and escorted to the holding area.
Some fans of the popular deejay, many of them women, gathered at the back of the court to catch a glimpse of the artiste when he was being transported to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre by lawmen.
They continued their call for him to be freed and claimed he was being set up.
“Free the worl’ boss!” one woman shouted loudly.
The selection of jurors is expected to be complete when the court sits this afternoon.