Darine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter in Tampa, Florida
Buju Banton's lawyer, David Oscar Markus, just made a passionate plea to the jury not to find the Jamaican musician guilty.
Markus, in closing arguments just presented said the United States Government has not proven beyond all reasonable doubt that Buju committed any of the four cocaine-related charges for which he has been charged.
Buju is facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime, attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and using a communication facility in the commission of an act constituting a felony.
"Please ladies and gentlemen, I beg you, find the defendant not guilty," Markus said. He then quoted from the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird and said it was appropriate to describe the position in which the Jamaican singer is now in.
"It is a sin to kill a mocking bird," he said quoting from the book which say mocking birds sing to give people happiness.
But Jim Preston the prosecutor has told the jury the government has met its burden to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt.
He also said were it not for Buju telling informant Alexander Johnson about his cocaine trade Johnson would not have had a job as a confidential informant.
"Mr Myrie gave him that job," Preston said.
He has asked the jury for a guilty verdict saying "this is not about a kid who was about to steal something from a candy store and changed his mind. This is about an adult who is involved in the cocaine trade ... One who planted the seed of this deal".
Buju testified for nearly three hours today and when he left the stand the defence rested its case.