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Buju Banton's Retrial Postponed

November 2, 2010, 4:43 am GMT

Banton's lawyer is now attempting to get his client released from jail pending the retrial.


Reggae star Buju Banton is facing another four months in police custody after his retrial date on drug charges was delayed until February 2011. Banton, real name Mark Myrie, was jailed in December 2009 after he was caught allegedly attempting to buy more than five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer in Sarasota, Florida.

The case was postponed twice earlier this year but the troubled Jamaican finally took the stand in September to face charges, including conspiracy to possess, intent to distribute and possession of a firearm. Banton denied the charges and claimed he had lied about his ambitions to deal illegal substances to "impress" his new pal - the officer.

U.S. District Judge James Moody declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach verdict following three days of deliberations. The judge initially stated the retrial would start in December but he granted a motion to postpone it on Monday, November 1.

Moody set the case for his February 2011 trial calendar but didn't set a specific date. According to the Associated Press, Banton's lawyer is now attempting to get his client released from jail pending the retrial. Banton faces life imprisonment if convicted.

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