News Americas, MIAMI, Fl, Tues. Nov. 21, 2017: Popular Jamaican dancehall deejay and actor, Ninja Man, born Desmond Ballentine, known for his controversial and pro-gun lyrics, was on Monday found guilty of an 8-year-old murder. Here are 10 things you should know about the murder case and guilty verdict of Ninja “Don Gorgon” Man:
1: The conviction relates to the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson, also known as Ricky Trooper, on Marl Road in Olympic Gardens, St. Andrew, Jamaica. Johnson was allegedly sweeping his yard in the company of a friend when a motorcar with three men aboard drove up in March 2009. An argument developed between Johnson’s friend and the men later drove off, but reportedly returned later and shot and killed Johnson.
2: After being listed as a person of interest, Ninja Man turned himself in to the police, while his son Janeil Ballentine and Clayton Dennis, the other accused, were held during a police operation in St Ann.
3: All three were arrested after investigators at the time alleged that on March 16, 2009, Ninja Man and the two accused were traveling in a motor car along Marl Road in Olympic Gardens when they opened gunfire on a man. The bullets missed the target and struck Johnson who was leaning on a fence. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The three along with Seymour Samuels remained in custody for three years before being offered bail. Samuels has since died.
4: The trial was rescheduled six times before being finally held this October. It also had 17 missed trial dates and 23 mention dates in eight years.
5: The entertainer’s attorney, Valerie Neita Robertson has said her client suffered irreparable damage with the case being postponed numerous times, telling the court in May: “There is something called a fair trial.”
6: On Nov. 3rd, rumors circulated that Ninja Man, 51, had died but it was later learned that the entertainer reportedly suffered a mild heart attack and gave instructions to his attorneys for his murder trial to continue while he was in the hospital.
7: On November 20, 2017, Ninja Man, along with his son and Clayton Dennis was found guilty of the murder of Johnson in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston, after three hours and 11 minutes of deliberation.
8: His reaction was brief as he offered only: “A suh it go man,” said as he left the court with his co-accused.
9: Social media began weighing in on the verdict. “Do the crime, serve the time,” tweeted Sara Hamilton while on Facebook, Nardia Ford-Dixon responded: “Oh well justice must be served.” On Twitter, Chadwin Headlam had a different response as he tweeted: “Bwoy… Ninja man… Yuh days done! Hope dem can put yuh in a the same cell as Kartel, mek him teach yuh how fi mek money in a prison. A him same one say ‘a in deh the high grade sell.” Others expressed sadness and anger at the justice system for attacking entertainers. “The system really trying hard to get rid of the entertainers,” Tiffany Abbss posted on Facebook in response to the guilty verdict while Leo Barcelona added: “Sad news for dancehall fans.”
10: Sentencing for the three is set for December 15th.