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Jamaican Dancehall Star Vybz Kartel Found Guilty of Murder

Categories: Caribbean, Jamaica, Citizen Media, Law, Media & Journalism, Music

The wait [1] is finally over. The jury in the Vybz Kartel murder trial [2] reached a verdict earlier today: Guilty [3]. But the verdict itself is as rife with controversy as the trial had been [4].

Tweets from journalist and blogger [5] Emily Crooks [6] were coming seconds apart, as she reported on the situation in downtown Kingston [7]:

Some of her tweets contained photos of Kartel's supporters gathering outside the court; others showed the heavy police presence in the island's capital:

Earlier in the afternoon, there was speculation as to whether the judge was even inclined to hand over the case to the jury – the tension outside the court was palpable:

Anticipation on social media mounted once Crooks tweeted that the judge had indeed sent the jury to deliberate:

Soon, Crooks began crunching the numbers when it came to the way the jury would vote:

As it turned out, the jury came back with a 10:1 guilty verdict [19] amidst rumours that one of the jurors attempted to bribe the others [20]. Sadly, the hearsay turned out to be true [21]:

In the end, the attempt didn't affect the outcome of the trial and word soon began to spread [23] about the decision of the jury [24]:

Adidja Palmer – GUILTY
Shawn Campbell – GUILTY
Kahira Jones – GUILTY
Shane Williams – Not GUILTY
Andre St John – GUILTY
Kartel, 38, whose real name is Adidja Palmer and his co-accused went on trial on November 20 in the Home Circuit Court.

Emily Crooks tweeted the judge's response to the outcome:

Then the action really started, as Kartel's supporters, not liking the decision, became more vocal:

The situation continued to escalate; up to two hours ago, protests were still taking place:

Some netizens seemed overwhelmed by the barrage of information on the breaking story, while others joked about it:

Dancehall Worldwide [31] shared a video on Facebook that demonstrated the anger of the crowd:

Some Twitter users were irritated by the protests:

…while other entrepreneurial types made the most of the situation on the streets:

The calls for Kartel's freedom continued, and dominated the evening's news coverage:

On Facebook, blogger Annie Paul, who was also following the trial, observed [38] that amidst all the hype of the trial, the murder victim was somehow dismissed from being top of mind:

really glad i caught the tail end of @djmillerJA's interview w Lizard William's sister, he really has been forgotten in all this.

She quipped [39]:

Scandal going to seem tame tonight after ‪#‎KartelMurderTrial‬ verdict…‪#‎Guilty‬