Buju Banton wants release on bond pending appeal

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2011 5:09 AM
Buju Banton wants release on bond pending appeal

Grammy-winning Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton wants to be released on bond while he appeals his conviction of conspiring to set up a cocaine deal in 2009.

Banton's attorney, David Markus, filed a motion Tuesday in Tampa federal court saying the singer's celebrity makes it impossible for him to flee and hide. Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, also has already surrendered his passport and he was electronically monitored when he was released on bond in November.

Banton was taken back into custody last month after a jury convicted him of two drug charges and one gun charge. Markus says the singer faces at least 15 years in prison.

Markus also asked the court for a new trial. Banton's sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.