Buju Banton's case stalled as juror's computer yields no evidence of misconduct
Embattled Reggae/Dancehall icon, Mark Myrie, more popularly known as Buju Banton has suffered a big blow in his charge for an early release from prison after a thorough search of a juror's computer yielded no signs of misconduct during the singjay's February 2011 drug trial.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that an IT investigator, hired by Buju searched a computer owned by Terri Wright, a juror in the singer's trial who allegedly researched aspects of his case during the trial and subsequent deliberations. The search yielded approximately 1.6 million internet history records in total.
However, at a court hearing in Tampa earlier this week, it was revealed that none of the records found were dated Feb. 14 to March 8, 2011, covering his trial and the two weeks that followed, meaning no trace of misconduct had been detected.
These results let Buju's legal team to claim Wright gave them the wrong device to search. However, Ms. Wright's attorney, Lori Palmieri insisted it was her only computer.
"She only had one computer; it was a laptop, and she brought it,” she told Judge James Moody in court Tuesday. “In my opinion, end of story, but not in their story."
Judge Moody has yet to make a formal ruling on the matter.
Had any records pertaining to Buju's case had been found on her computer, grounds would have existed for a possible mistrial after a court order was issued during the early stages of the trial, prohibiting jurors from researching aspects of the case. Doing so also constitutes as a violation of federal court laws.
She had reportedly admitted to doing research of the case to a Florida newspaper last fall, which led to Buju's legal team filing an investigation application into the alleged misconduct. The application was approved, pushing back Buju's re-sentencing on the drug charge.
Buju Banton is currently serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges and faces an additional five years in prison on a gun charge which was reinstated last summer following a failed appeal of his conviction.