Reggae Star Banton Asks For Shorter Jail Sentence

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS4) — Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton is asking for a reduced prison sentence.

The Grammy winner was convicted in February of conspiring to set up a cocaine deal in Florida in 2009. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison at his sentencing hearing June 23 in Tampa federal court.

In court documents filed Thursday Banton’s attorney, David Markus, says a 15-year-sentence is “way more than necessary” in Banton’s case.

He contends that Banton’s limited participation in the drug buy, his charitable work in Jamaica and his otherwise clean record entitle the singer to a reduced sentence.

The documents include letters of support for Banton from actor Danny Glover, reggae singer Stephen Marley and Atlanta Hawks basketball player Etan Thomas.

Banton also seeks an acquittal and a new trial.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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