Incarcerated dancehall star Vybz Kartel has two and a half years taken off his prison time that he was sentenced to serve before he becomes eligible for parole. His co-convicts, Shawn Storm, Andre St John and Kahira Jones, they also had their parole eligibility period reduced by two and a half years as well.
The ruling was handed down by the Court of Appeal recently. It came two weeks after the panel of three Appeal Court judges dismissed the application to have Kartel’s murder conviction tossed out; after the four men were given the mandatory life sentence.
Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, Shawn Campbell whose stage name is Shawn Storm, St John and Jones, were all convicted in March 2014 for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams that took place in August 2011.
High Court judge Justice Lennox Campbell, who is retired, presided over the trial and had ordered Kartel to serve a minimum of 35 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
St John’s parole eligibility period was set at 30 years. Campbell and Jones were each ordered to serve 25 years before they were eligible for parole.
With Kartel’s sentencing being reduced to 32 years and 6 months, serving from April 3, 2014, the dancehall entertainer is looking at the possibility of parole in 2046.
On April 3 the Court of Appeal, in dismissing the appeal, insisted that only in one instance, “the sentences imposed by the judge Campbell in this case cannot be said to have been excessive to such an extent as to call for this court’s intervention”.