• Tag Archives Marl Road
  • Ninjaman Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Conviction

    Ninjaman, his son Janiel Ballentine, and Dennis Clayton were sentenced to life in prison with hard labor.

    A Jamaican high court judge handed down the harsh prison sentence on Monday in the Home Circuit court in Kingston. Ninjaman and his two co-accused were found guilty of the murder of Ricardo Johnson, aka Ricky Trooper, who cops say was gunned down on March 16, 2009, on Marl Road, Kingston 13. The dancehall legend claimed he is innocent, but a seven-member jury unanimously found him and the two others guilty of the murder when the trial concluded on November 20, 2017.

    Ninjaman, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, will have to serve 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole. The dancehall icon sat stoned-faced in court as the judge handed down the harsh sentencing. His son Janiel and friend Dennis Clayton were also given life imprisonment and will be eligible for parole in 15 years. Ninjaman’s sentencing was originally set for last Friday but was delayed until Monday after a character witness and one of the defendant’s attorneys were unable to be in court. Both the witness and the lawyer representing Clayton were in court on Monday for the sentencing.

    Ninjaman will be age 76 before he is eligible for a parole hearing which is not always guaranteed. The dancehall legend has maintained his innocence and has indicated following the trial that he will likely appeal the conviction. In case your wondering why he received a harsher sentencing than his two co-accused, the prosecution main witness, who is now in witness protection, identified Ninjaman as the man who pulled the trigger to kill his friend Ricardo Johnson on Marl Road on that fateful day in March 2009. The witness told the court that Ninja also fired two shots at him but he managed to escape the gunfire and ran for his life. The men got into a domestic dispute over a kitchen space at a house on Marl Road where the main witness was the landlord.

    RELATED: Ninjaman Thinks He Was Given An Unfair Trial Like Vybz Kartel

    Ninjaman is one of the most iconic names in dancehall’s history with over close to four decades as an active artist under his belt. He was born in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, on January 20, 1966, but moved to Kingston as a youngster. He started out as a DJ on famous sound systems like Black Culture and Killamanjaro from age 14 under the name Double Ugly. He later changed his name to Ninjaman and started recording music in the early 1980s.

    By the Mid-80s, Ninjaman found a few hits and started producing songs for himself and started working with other artists like Super Cat and Early B. He also worked with producers like Ini Kamoze, Philip “Fatis” Burrell, Steely & Clevie, Bobby Digital, and King Jammy. Between the 1980s and 90s, Ninja has already built a name for himself in dancehall as a lyrical prowess with a gift of spitting lyrics on the spot with or without a beat. But in the mid-1990s he came under fire for his hardcore gun lyrics and was blamed for fueling crime in Jamaica with his music. That branding leads him to give up dancehall for a short while to become a gospel artist using the name Brother Desmond.


  • Ninjaman’s Incarceration Left Gloomy Dancehall Christmas Party Season

    Ninjaman‘s incarceration is leaving a void this Christmas holiday party season.

    The dancehall legend is currently behind bars awaiting his sentencing set for Monday in the Supreme Court in Kingston. In case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Ninjaman was convicted of murder last month and is facing life imprisonment. Known for his on the spot lyrical prowess and his stage craft, Ninja’s absence from the dancehall party scene this holiday season is already being felt.

    Dancehall fans could always look forward to be entertained by the legendary deejay on some of the major shows this season like GT Taylor Extravaganza and more. Ninjaman’s charitable deeds is also in focus since the artist usually give back to his community during the holiday period. “Whole heap a people a go miss him because dem know if he was around, they would have a good Christmas,” fellow dancehall star Macka Diamond said. “It wasn’t only because of weh him coulda do fi people. I’m sure a lot of promoters miss him because Ninja is a artiste weh people love fi stage show. Promoters a go definitely miss him because dem man deh tun up stage show wid dem vibes.”

    RELATED: Ninjaman Thinks He Was Given An Unfair Trial Like Vybz Kartel

    Ninjaman, his son Janiel, and Dennis Clayton were convicted for the murder march 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson on Marl Road, Kingston 13. The “Kingston Town” deejay says that he will appeal the November 20th conviction to try and clear his name.


  • Ninjaman and His Son Found Guilty Of Murder


    Ninjaman and his son, Jamiel, were found guilty of murder in the Home Circuit Court on Monday.

    The dancehall legend, real name Desmond Ballentine, his Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton were found guilty by a seven-member jury who deliberated for three hours. According to the prosecution, the three men murdered 20-year-old Ricardo Johnson, aka Ricky Trooper, from Marl Road, Kingston 13 in March 2009. The three weeks trial was held in camera behind closed doors, which means the public or the media did not have access to the courtroom.

    Ninjaman, 51, and his two co-accused are facing life imprisonment for the crime. He will be back before the judge next month for his sentencing hearing and is currently behind bars. During the month-long trial, the prosecution introduced seven witnesses including a man who is in witness protection who testified that the three men fired two shots at him but he ran for his life. He was the star witness for the prosecution who argued that on the day of the murder, the three men had an argument with Johnson who was sweeping a yard on Marl Road. The men then left the scene and returned a short while later with guns blazing.

    Following an investigation, cops arrested Ninjaman and his co-accused. The dancehall deejay was granted a JM$2 million bail in 2012 following numerous delays in the trial. The case has seen 23 mentions in the court and 17 delays up until last month when a judged revoked the deejay’s bail and ordered the trial be concluded. The murder case was tried in a special court that deals with cases over five years old with Justice Martin Gayle presiding over the high profile case.

    Ninjaman and his two co-accused have maintained their innocence and will likely appeal the conviction. He will likely be housed in the same Tower Street prison as Vybz Kartel.

    Who is Ninjaman?

    Ninjaman is one of the pioneers of hardcore dancehall music. The famed deejay was born in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, on January 20, 1966. He then moved to Kingston at the age of 12 and started deejaying at the age of 14 under the name “Double Ugly” while working with some local sound systems like Black Culture.

    He changed his name in 1980 to Ninjaman and started deejaying on Killamanjaro sound system. That same year he released his debut single “Uglyman” and started being around artists like Early B and Super Cat who were established acts at the time. By the mid-1980s, Ninjaman started recording and producing himself and there he found his breakout hit “Protection” a song that features Courtney Melody. That song elevated his profile as a dancehall artist and from there he started working with producers like Ini Kamoze, Philip “Fatis” Burrell, Steely & Clevie, Bobby Digital, and King Jammy.

    In the late 80s to early 90s, Ninjaman scored a number of hit songs and established himself as a clash artist thanks to his notorious clash with Supercat at Sting 1991. That clash is down in history as one of the most fierce lyrical battles in dancehall history.

     


  • Ninja Man Reacts To Murder Conviction Dancehall Icon To Appeal


    Ninjaman has shared his reaction to his murder conviction on Monday.

    The guilty verdict sent shock waves throughout the dancehall community as another well known figure in the genre is staring down a life imprisonment sentence. “A suh it go, man,” Ninjaman told reporters as he was leaving the Supreme Court on Monday. The dancehall deejay was escorted back to jail by a heavy contingent of police personnel.

    “Don’t f*** with me Jamaica, I’ll be back!” the deejay added. Ninjaman, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Janiel, and Dennis Clayton, were all found guilty of the murder of 20-year-old Ricardo Johnson, who was shot and killed on Marl Road, Kingston 13, in March 2009. Another man managed to escape the gunfire and has now returned to testify in the murder case. He was placed in the witness protection program for his safety.

    Sources close to the dancehall legend told Dancehall HipHop that he plans to appeal the conviction. “The Gorgon (Ninjaman) ago appeal this injustice,” sources said. “They have this case hanging over the man head for almost ten years and now they want to send him to prison for a crime he never did.”

    Appeal in Jamaica can take up to five years to get a mention in the Court of Appeal. His attorney, Valerie Neita Robertosn, did not comment on the case.

     


  • Ninjaman Murder Case Verdict Pushes Back To Monday


    Ninjaman had to wait a little longer to know his fate after the verdict in his murder case was pushed back to Monday.

    On Monday (November 20), the seven-member jury will resume deliberation and is expected to return a verdict in the almost a month-long case. On Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Martin Gayle, gave his summation of the case and reviewed the evidence presented. He told the judge to only focus on the facts of the case and they should not discuss the case with anyone who is not on the jury panel.

    Ninjaman, real name Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton are all on trial for the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson, aka Trooper. The prosecution says that Johnson was gunned down in a yard on Marl Road, Kingston 13. One witness, who testified against the three men, told the court that he could have also been a second victim, but he managed to escape the gunfire and ran for his life. He is now placed in a witness protection program. Ninjaman had a mild heart attack in court when one overseas-based witness was giving testimony. He spent a little less than a week in the hospital and may require heart surgery.

    Ninjaman and his three co-accused were on bail since 2012, but last month a judge revoked their bail and ordered them back behind bars. The case was then transferred to a special court that deals with cases over five years old. The artist says he is innocent and is anxious to get the case behind him. Ninja is an icon in dancehall and has been in the business since the 1970s. He started deejaying on sound systems from the age of fourteen. It wasn’t until the early 80s that he gain recognition as an artist in the early days of modern dancehall music.

    If found guilty, the dancehall legend could be sent to prison for life.

     


  • Ninja Man Requires An Emergency Heart Surgery


    Ninja Man will require an emergency heart surgery following his collapse in court last week Friday.

    Sources told Dancehall HipHop that the dancehall icon suffered a mild heart attack in the Supreme Court on Friday morning while his murder trial was underway. A high court judge halted the trial on Friday which eventually proceeded on Monday. Ninja Man was brought to a local hospital by a police detail after he started complaining about chest pain and difficulty breathing.

    The dancehall star’s attorney, Valrie Neita-Robertson, gave reporters an update on his medical condition. “We have the medical, Ninjaman has a serious heart condition, and he will have to have an operation which will require a recovery period of three to four months,” Neita-Robertson said. “So we want to finish this case as quickly as possible because Ninjaman cannot go under any stress right now and has to remain as calm as possible.”

    Neita-Robertson added that Ninja Man heart issues is caused by stress from his murder case. She called on the judicial system to quickly wraps up the case so that the artist can go back to living a normal life. If convicted, Ninja Man, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton, could be sent to prison for life. The three men are on trial for the murder of Ricardo “Trooper” Johnson who was shot and killed on Marl Road, Kingston 11, in March 2009.

    Cops say a number of eye witnesses identified the accused men of the killing, but they are maintaining their innocence. Ninja Man is in police custody pending the outcome of the trial. Last month a judge revoked his bail and ordered him back behind bars while the case was transferred to a special case which deals with cases over five years old. Get well soon Ninja Man