Mistrial Declared in Buju Banton Case
Reggae star Buju Banton's trial on cocaine charges has ended in a mistrial after the 12-person jury sent a second notice to the judge saying they couldn't reach a decision. The jury had been deliberating since Thursday following a four-day trial.
Banton, a controversial but gifted Jamaican musician, was arrested in December on charges that he tried to set up a cocaine deal with what turned out to be an undercover police officer.
Banton testified that the whole thing was basically just a big ego-driven accident, because he thought that the undercover police officer had record industry contacts. Banton reasoned that he'd try to impress him with drug talk.
"I was trying to impress this guy. I wasn't going to let him outtalk me," Banton testified.
Despite strong evidence connecting Banton to the drug deal (including surveillance footage showing Banton tasting cocaine with his finger), apparently that testimony and other evidence was enough to convince at least some members of the jury that he wasn't guilty.
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