Buju Banton Lawyer Wants Gun Charge Drop

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Embattled Reggae superstar Buju Banton legal team filed a motion in a Florida federal court earlier this week to have the gun charges against him dropped.

In documents filed in the Middle District Court of Florida on Monday, Banton lead attorney David Markus urged the judge to free him of the gun related charge.

“As the court is well aware, the jury in this cause could not reach a verdict, and a mistrial was ordered. The government has indicated that it intends to retry the case. In the light most favourable to the government, the evidence was insufficient to convict Mr Myrie on Count 2, the 924(c) charge and, accordingly, Mr Myrie should only be retried on Count 1,” Buju’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, argued.

“First, there is no evidence Mark Myrie knew that James Mack (a co-accused) had a gun in his car. The undisputed facts at trial established that Mr Myrie had never even spoken to or met James Mack before being arrested in this case. As for the second element, there is nothing that ‘links’ Mr Myrie to this gun,” Markus added.

Markus said the prosecution attempted to amend the indictment after the close of the first trial, after realizing it could not prove that Buju aided or abetted the possession of the gun.

“There is simply no evidence that it was reasonably foreseeable to Mr Myrie that Mr Mack would be present at this drug deal and that he would be in possession of a gun,” said Markus.

The judge is expected to make a ruling this coming week.

Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie was released on bail last week Wednesday after being behind bars for almost a year.

Banton is standing trial for charges of conspiracy to distribute 5 Kilo of cocaine.

A federal judge declared a mistrial Sept. 27 after jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.

Two men indicted along with Banton, including the singer’s driver, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Banton maintains he was set up by a well-paid government informant.

But the prosecution argued that recorded conversations showed Banton was an experienced cocaine trafficker who was trying to invest in another deal.

Buju Banton new trial is set to begin in February 2011.

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