Grammy award winning dancehall, ragga and reggae musician Buju Banton has been stabbed to death at the McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia.
Banton was killed in cold blood following a misunderstanding with an inmate whose name was given as Jose Carlos Sierra.
The Jamaican-born star was convicted in February 2011, days after he won a Grammy award for his work titled Before the Dawn.
Banton was scheduled to be released in December 2018.
In December 2009 Drug Enforcement Administration agents remanded Banton to custody in Miami, where the U.S. Attorney charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine.
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Banton was then moved to the Pinellas County Jail where he remained until trial. A six-day trial in Tampa, Florida was declared a mistrial on 27 September 2010, after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.
During the trial, audio recordings were presented of Banton and a drug-dealer-turned-government-informant discussing drugs, drug prices and smuggling. Banton was also seen on a video recording meeting the informant in police-controlled warehouse tasting cocaine from a kilogram bag. The informant was reportedly paid $50,000 for his work on the case.
He was released that November on bond after which he was allowed to perform one concert between trials, which was held on 16 January 2011 to a sold-out crowd in Miami.
He was sentenced to ten years and one month in a federal prison for the cocaine trafficking conviction. His sentencing on the firearms conviction was scheduled for 30 October 2012, but was postponed on his lawyer’s request for an investigation of possible juror misconduct. On 14 May last year, federal prosecutors agreed to drop the firearms charges.
He died at age 43.