Ninja Man murder trial set for November 2014 after attempt to throw out case rejected


After Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison, another legend of the genre will have to wait several more months before his long-awaited murder trial is finally set in motion.

On Monday, Desmond Ballentine, more popularly known as Ninja Man appeared in a Kingston court where he was scheduled to kick off the trial. However, the deejay, through his attorney, K.D. Knight, issued an application to have the case thrown out.

Knight argued that the case against Ninja Man and two co-accused should be dismissed given a breach of the constitutional rights, considering the length of time the case has yet to be tried. That application was soon rejected by the presiding judge, who then issued a November 10 date for the commencement of the trial.

Monday’s court proceedings took place just over five years after the fatal shooting of Richard Johnson in March 2009. The deejay was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm in relation to the incident. Ninja Man’s son, Janiel Ballentine and another man, Dennis Clayton were jointly charged in the incident.

The trial has endured several delays since then, though Ninja Man has been on bail since March 2012 and has since revived his nearly three-decade-long career after joining forces with Downsound Records.

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