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Buju Banton gun conviction tossed

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 30, 2013 at 12:16 PM   |   Comments

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June 30 (UPI) -- Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton has one fewer conviction after a juror from his trial was charged with criminal contempt.

Terri Wright, the jury foreman from the 2011 trial against Banton, was charged with criminal contempt last week for allegedly doing research in the to case and sharing it with other jurors.

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody in Florida overturned the gun conviction against Banton, born Mark Myrie, but did not toss the drug conviction for which the Grammy winner is serving 10 years in prison.

"We are thinking of filing an appeal to have his drug conviction overturned," said Banton's attorney, Chokwe Lumumba. "However, we have not made a decision as yet. In a couple of days we will decide on which course to take."

Banton was convicted of the gun charges under the Pinkerton Law, which allows conviction of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense, even when the individual in question was not present when the firearm was used.

Banton's 9 mm pistol was discovered in a compartment of the car driven by James Mack, who was with Ian Thomas and Banton were arrested and charged after they attempted to purchase cocaine from Drug Enforcement Agents in Tampa in 2009.

He has already served 40 months of his 10-year sentence.

Wright, the juror, could face a fine and up to six years in prison.

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