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Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm speak out after life sentence, maintain innocence

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Incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and long-time protégé, Shawn Storm have spoken out for the first time since their convictions and subsequent life sentence on murder charges in the Clive 'Lizard' Williams murder charges.

The two, along with Kahira Jones and Andre 'Mad Suss' St. John were sentenced Thursday, with Kartel not eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his sentence, while Shawn Storm will not be eligible until 25 years into his sentence. On Friday, the pair issued short, handwritten statements thanking fans for their undying support while continuing to maintain their innocence in spite of the convictions.

Kartel's note said, “I would first like to again reiterate that I never killed Clive Williams nor did I order his killing. To my family I want to say thank you for being there for me. Equally to my fans whose unremitting support matters to me! Bless, Kartel.”

Shawn Storm offered similar sentiments to his supporters.

“To the fans and fams I am an innocent man and I am just saying I am good and in great health and spirit,” he said. “So from me to the fans and ma fams and my mother, daughter and family I am confident that in the long run I will be vindicated.”

Meanwhile, voice notes used as evidence against Kartel and his co-accused were released to Jamaican media on Friday, telling a damning tale of the events leading up to August 2011 murder of Williams. In said voice notes, which can be heard in their entirety here, Kartel continuously references the disappearance of 'shoes,' a code word for guns, according to testimony from the Crown's main witness, Lamar Chow. An agitated Kartel can be heard threatening that if Chow or Williams did not find said 'shoes' by nightfall, one or both could face fatal consequences.

Additionally, the Police High Command issued a statement lauding the work done by law enforcement in the case while revealing the challenges encountered during the trial, detailing accusations of witness tampering, death threats, obeah ritualism and attempts to pervert the course of justice. The full statement can be read here.

Kartel, along with two others, faces an Aug. 11 court date, facing two conspiracy charges in relation to the Williams case.

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