News: Reggae Star Escapes Jail After 11-Month Bid

Friday, Nov 12, 2010 8:40PM

Written by Biz Jones

Dancehall reggae star Buju Banton has reportedly been allowed to leave a Florida jail on bail after being behind bars for 11 months for a drug charge.

According to reports, fellow reggae artist Stephen Marley helped Banton's cause.

Unable to post the bond himself, Banton received help from a fellow reggae star: Stephen Marley, son of Jamaican music royalty Bob Marley, who posted equity in his own home as bond -- $300,000 worth. Marley is counting on Banton to not flee, but chances are slim: the Associated Press reports that before he was released, Banton agreed to wear an electronic monitoring device, sign an extradition waver and hire a private security team -- at his own expense -- to ensure that he doesn't try to run away or seek asylum in his Jamaican homeland. (Spinner)

Banton will be required to return to court in early 2011.

Banton's lawyer said he was thrilled the 37-year-old, who had been in prison since last December, could spend time at his Miami-area home before his retrial, scheduled for February. (BBC News)

In September, Buju's drug case was declared a mistrial after days of discussions amongst jurors.

The Florida drug trial of Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton ended in a mistrial on Monday when jurors said they could not agree on a verdict after three days of deliberations. The 12-member jury had been meeting since Thursday after a four-day trial at the U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. U.S. District Judge James Moody said a retrial would not begin until at least December. (ABC News)

Buju's case dates back to a December 2009 arrest.

Buju was accused of conspiring to buy cocaine from an undercover federal agent in December of 2009, and had been held in federal custody, without possibility of bail until his case was declared a mistrial back in September, when the jury could not come to a verdict. (The Boom Box)

Listen to Buju Banton & Stephen Marley's "Poor Old Man" down below:

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