Tag: Marl Road
Ninjaman is back in the Supreme Court in Kingston today for his sentencing hearing.
The dancehall legend, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, was found guilty of murder unanimously by a seven-member jury on November 20th. Two more men, his son Janiel and close friend Dennis Clayton, were all found guilty of the same crime. According to authorities, Ninjaman shot and killed Ricardo Johnson in March of 2009 during a domestic dispute over kitchen space at a house on Marl Road, Kingston 13.
Ninjaman represents the latest dancehall artists to be sent to prison for a serious crime. Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life in 2014 for a murder conviction, while Buju Banton is serving ten tears in a U.S. prison for drug trafficking. Dancehall deejay Munga Honorable is currently awaiting trial also for a murder case. Some dancehall fans thinks that there is a conspiracy against local entertainers where authorities are using them to send a message amidst growing concerns about crime.
Ninjaman, 50, has maintained his innocence and hinted last month that he will be appealing the conviction. He will likely be sentenced to life in prison with hard labor and will likely serve his sentence at the same prison where Vybz Kartel is housed, GP.
Ninjaman and his son, Jamiel, were found guilty of murder in the Home Circuit Court on Monday.
The dancehall legend, real name Desmond Ballentine, his Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton were found guilty by a seven-member jury who deliberated for three hours. According to the prosecution, the three men murdered 20-year-old Ricardo Johnson, aka Ricky Trooper, from Marl Road, Kingston 13 in March 2009. The three weeks trial was held in camera behind closed doors, which means the public or the media did not have access to the courtroom.
Ninjaman, 51, and his two co-accused are facing life imprisonment for the crime. He will be back before the judge next month for his sentencing hearing and is currently behind bars. During the month-long trial, the prosecution introduced seven witnesses including a man who is in witness protection who testified that the three men fired two shots at him but he ran for his life. He was the star witness for the prosecution who argued that on the day of the murder, the three men had an argument with Johnson who was sweeping a yard on Marl Road. The men then left the scene and returned a short while later with guns blazing.
Following an investigation, cops arrested Ninjaman and his co-accused. The dancehall deejay was granted a JM$2 million bail in 2012 following numerous delays in the trial. The case has seen 23 mentions in the court and 17 delays up until last month when a judged revoked the deejay’s bail and ordered the trial be concluded. The murder case was tried in a special court that deals with cases over five years old with Justice Martin Gayle presiding over the high profile case.
Ninjaman and his two co-accused have maintained their innocence and will likely appeal the conviction. He will likely be housed in the same Tower Street prison as Vybz Kartel.
Who is Ninjaman?
Ninjaman is one of the pioneers of hardcore dancehall music. The famed deejay was born in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, on January 20, 1966. He then moved to Kingston at the age of 12 and started deejaying at the age of 14 under the name “Double Ugly” while working with some local sound systems like Black Culture.
He changed his name in 1980 to Ninjaman and started deejaying on Killamanjaro sound system. That same year he released his debut single “Uglyman” and started being around artists like Early B and Super Cat who were established acts at the time. By the mid-1980s, Ninjaman started recording and producing himself and there he found his breakout hit “Protection” a song that features Courtney Melody. That song elevated his profile as a dancehall artist and from there he started working with producers like Ini Kamoze, Philip “Fatis” Burrell, Steely & Clevie, Bobby Digital, and King Jammy.
In the late 80s to early 90s, Ninjaman scored a number of hit songs and established himself as a clash artist thanks to his notorious clash with Supercat at Sting 1991. That clash is down in history as one of the most fierce lyrical battles in dancehall history.
On Monday (November 20), the seven-member jury will resume deliberation and is expected to return a verdict in the almost a month-long case. On Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Martin Gayle, gave his summation of the case and reviewed the evidence presented. He told the judge to only focus on the facts of the case and they should not discuss the case with anyone who is not on the jury panel.
Ninjaman, real name Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton are all on trial for the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson, aka Trooper. The prosecution says that Johnson was gunned down in a yard on Marl Road, Kingston 13. One witness, who testified against the three men, told the court that he could have also been a second victim, but he managed to escape the gunfire and ran for his life. He is now placed in a witness protection program. Ninjaman had a mild heart attack in court when one overseas-based witness was giving testimony. He spent a little less than a week in the hospital and may require heart surgery.
Ninjaman and his three co-accused were on bail since 2012, but last month a judge revoked their bail and ordered them back behind bars. The case was then transferred to a special court that deals with cases over five years old. The artist says he is innocent and is anxious to get the case behind him. Ninja is an icon in dancehall and has been in the business since the 1970s. He started deejaying on sound systems from the age of fourteen. It wasn’t until the early 80s that he gain recognition as an artist in the early days of modern dancehall music.
If found guilty, the dancehall legend could be sent to prison for life.
Ninja Man is currently in the hospital under strict observation after falling ill in court this morning.
The dancehall icon’s attorney, Valrie Neita-Robertson, told reporters that the trial was adjourned after he started complaining about severe chest pain and difficulty breathing. He was escorted by a police detail to a local hospital in Kingston where he was admitted. Sources told Dancehall HipHop that his condition is stable but doctors are treating it as serious due to his celebrity status and the severity of his pain.
Ninja Man, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel Ballentine, and another man, Dennis Clayton, are on trial for the murder of Ricardo Johnson, aka Trooper. The murder trial is being held on camera in the Home Circuit Court and the judge adjourned the trial a short time of the artist fell ill.
According to the police report, Ninja Man and his two co-accused shot and killed Johnson in a yard on Marl Road, Kingston 11, in March 2009. The shooting took place shortly after the dancehall deejay’s son Jamiel and the victim had an argument. The three men are also charged with shooting with intent. Ninja Man faces life imprisonment if found guilty of the charge.
Dancehall legend Ninja Man highly anticipated murder trial is now underway in the Home Circuit Court.
The trial is being held in camera and got off to a rocky start when a juror forced the case to adjourned earlier this week after he reportedly had difficulties attending court. A female police officer testified in court today giving evidence that implicates Ninja Man in the March 2009 gruesome murder of Ricardo Johnson also known as Trooper.
According to police, Johnson and Ninja Man son, Jamiel Ballentine, had an argument and he left the scene and later return with his father Ninja Man and Dennis Clayton. Johnson was reportedly sweeping a yard when he was shot and killed by the three accusers on Marl Road, Kingston 11. Ninja Man has denied having any involvement in the murder.
The female police officer who testified told the court that she collected statements from a number of witnesses to the murder. Ninja Man is currently behind bars pending the outcome of the trial. Ninja Man and his two co-accused were on bail, but a judge ordered them to be put behind bars last month and that the trial be given priority.