Judge rejects Buju Banton plea for new trial

Grammy winner Buju Banton (l, with his attorney last year) has been denied a new trial. He was found guilty on three of four drug-related charges in February 2011. /Photo: STEVE NESIUS/Reuters /Landov

TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge has denied reggae singer Buju Banton’s request for a new trial, saying there’s no need because of a previous appeals court ruling.

In June, the federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld the Jamaican singer’s 2011 conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. The three-judge panel also sided with a Tampa jury’s conviction of Banton on a gun possession charge, which the trial judge tossed at his sentencing.

The appeals court rules that there was sufficient evidence to convict the singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, on the gun charge.

Banton’s attorney filed a motion in July seeking a new trial. Judge James Moody in Tampa denied that request Tuesday.

Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence. The gun charge carries an additional five-year sentence.

— Associated Press