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April 4, 2014
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Music fraternity reacts to Kartel's sentence

Vybz Kartel (front) and Shawn Storm.

After last week's sentencing postponement, the world waited with bated breath until yesterday when Justice Lennox Campbell handed down his judgement in the historic Vybz Kartel case.

The fate of the popular dancehall deejay along with the three co-accused was finally revealed.

Kartel was sentenced to life in prison and would spend 35 years with hard labour before he would be eligible for parole. As the news broke, social media erupted with mixed reactions from Jamaicans in and across the Diaspora.

A Facebook fan page dedicated to Gaza fans only attracted a large number of comments from other users when it posted the news at approximately 12 p.m. yesterday. "BREAKING: Kartel sentenced to life in imprisonment with hard labour. Not eligible for parole before 35 years," was the post which garnered over 60 comments within the hour.

Another comment posted by the owners of the page showed signs of them hoping the judgement was a joke. "Smaddy tell the judge say April fools gone nuh". However, the page kept fans up to date with the court proceedings as the sentence was handed down.

Spice who did a collaboration with the deejay for the controversial Romping Shop tweeted, "so many media houses calling me for a comment on Kartel #LifeinPrison. 35 years before parole, I guess #RompingShop is the cause #SAD moment".

The entertainer was given 35 years in prison before eligibility for parole for the 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams. His co-accused and member of the Gaza Empire Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell was sentenced to 25 years, Kahira Jones, 25 years before eligible for parole and André St John, 30 years before being eligible for parole.

-Shereita Grizzle

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