Embattled reggae star Buju Banton is seeking a new trial to overturn his conviction of three counts of drug trafficking charges.
Buju Banton’s attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, say an opening for the singer when juror Terri Wright told reporters at the Miami New Times that she researched aspects of the case that would influenced her decision.
“They give you the instructions not to go online and, you know, make an opinion,” Wright said. “I tried to follow that as close as possible. I don’t think what I found out would have changed how I thought.”
Wright, however, denied doing the research before reaching a verdict. She insist that she only research the case after the trial ended in February 2012.
“There is a huge misunderstanding with your questions. I did my research AFTER the case was over. NOT during the case. It is clear I misunderstood your question. This is not right. I trusted you. Now I feel totally betrayed,” Teri Wright said in a message to the reporter after the story broke.
Judge James Moody, who is schedule to make a ruling on Buju Banton’s request for a new trial, says he is not interested in the juror thought process.
“I’m not going to get into the thought process of the jurors,” Moody said.
Banton’s attorney Chokwe Lumumba, insist that there were clear juror misconduct which warrant a new trial.
“This was clearly misconduct,” Lumumba said.
“A new trial must be granted to protect the sanctity of the jury system,” Lumumba added.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is also facing an additional five years behind bars on a previous gun charge that was dropped by Judge James Moody.
The charge was reinstated when Banton lost his appeal earlier this year.
A sentencing hearing is schedule for early next year.