• Tag Archives Ricardo Johnson
  • 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 Conviction Caused By Fight Over Kitchen Space


    Ninjaman is staring down a life sentence in prison and will likely run into the likes of Vybz Kartel who he once had a beef with.

    The dancehall legend was convicted on Monday by a seven-member jury panel. The artist, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Janiel, and Dennis Clayton were all found guilty of the killing of Ricardo Johnson, a crime that could have been easily avoided. According to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, Ninjaman legal troubles started from a simple domestic dispute on Marl Road, Kingston 13, over kitchen space.

    “One of the tenants was an old lady, and she made a report to her granddaughter, who was the baby mother of Dennis Clayton, one of the accused,” DPP, Paula Llewellyn, said. The prosecution star witness, who we will not name, testified in court that the artist fired two shots after him, but he managed to escape the gunfire. His friend Johnson, aka Ricky Trooper, was shot and killed.

    “There was a quarrel between Witness A (the main prosecution witness) and Mr. Clayton,” the DPP added. “They got into a physical fight and Mr. Clayton won the fight. Mr. Clayton said, ‘I am going to go for a gun and shoot yuh.” DPP Llewellyn noted that Dennis Clayton, one of the convicted men, visited a yard on Marl Road on March 16, 2009, where he got into a physical fight with the main witness, who was the landlord of the tenant.

    The following morning (March 17th) at around 8 o’clock, Clayton and a fourth suspect in the murder case, who is now deceased, went to the same yard where another argument developed between himself and the main witness. The victim, Ricardo Johnson, who lives a few houses down on the same street, was there to visit his friend, who is the main witness. Clayton and the now dead fourth suspect fled the scene while issuing threats. Later that day, Ricardo Johnson, and the main witness went to Johnson’s home and that’s when Clayton showed up in a car with Ninjaman and his son Janiel, who threatened to shoot the witness.

    The three men left and later returned with a group of men with bats and boards to confront the witness and Johnson on Lower Marl Road, according to the DPP. The two men ran to the back of a house and went through a fence. “According Witness A, Desmond Ballentine shot at him,” the DPP said. Johnson had a cutlass in his hand and was pushing against the fence to prevent the men from coming through and that’s when he was shot dead.

    Ninjaman says he is innocent of the crime and the main witness is currently in the witness protection program.

     


  • Ninjaman Upbeat As He Heads To Court Ahead Of Verdict


    Ninjaman is upbeat as he heads to court this morning ahead of the highly anticipated verdict in his murder case.

    The Don Gorgon has been on trial for the past three weeks for the March 2009 murder of Ricardo Johnson, also known as Trooper, in the Kingston 13 area. A verdict was expected on Friday of last week, but that was pushed back to this week and could possibly come as early as today. The dancehall legend’s attorney, Valerie Neita Robertson, says that he is in good spirit as he awaits his fate.

    “He is doing pretty good as he is on medication,” she said. “His spirit is also high.” Ninjaman was hospitalized earlier this month after having a mild heart attack in court during the trial. He spent a week in the hospital before he was discharged with some medication. His attorney also revealed that he may require a heart surgery to fully get better.

    Ninjaman, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel, and Dennis Clayton are facing life imprisonment if found guilty of the murder. The prosecution introduced seven witnesses in the case, including one witness who is currently in witness protection. That witness testified in court last week that the three men fired shots at him but he escaped the gunfire and ran. His friend Trooper was so lucky and was killed.

     


  • 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 Not Dead Rumors Are False and Malicious His Rep Said


    Ninja Man is alive and in good spirit despite rumors late yesterday evening that the dancehall legend passed away.

    On Tuesday afternoon, rumors surfaced online claiming that Ninja Man died in the hospital from his recent heart attack. The news sent some of his fans into a panic while searching for answers to their many questions. Dancehallhiphop.com went in search for those answers and uncovered a malicious plot by some individuals to spread false news about the artist.

    A representative for the artist told us today that the rumors are not just false, but are malicious against the dancehall legend who is currently fighting for his life in the courts and also battling a serious illness. “There is just no truth to this bogus story, the man is alive and in good spirit despite what he is currently facing,” a rep for the artist told us. “These reports are just plain malicious against someone who is fighting for their life in an unjust criminal justice system. The man is battling a serious life threatening illness and they want to pronounce him dead before his time. What kind of people would want to do something like that. This is upsetting and people should stop it.”

    Ninja Man is expected to learn his fate sometime this week and if found guilty he could be sent to prison for the rest of his life. The deejay, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel Ballentine, and their friend Dennis Clayton, are all on trial for murder and shooting with intent for the killing of Ricardo Johnson in March 2009. Police officers say that the three men shot and killed Johnson on Marl Rd, Kingston 11, following a dispute with Jamiel.

    One prosecution witness testified in court saying that the three men fired two shots at him but he ran for his life, but his friend Ricardo wasn’t so lucky. That witness is now in the witness protection program.


  • Ninja Man Released From Hospital Judge Rule Case Must Move Forward


    Ninja Man was released from the hospital a few days ago and is now back in police custody.

    The dancehall legend was absent from his high profile murder trial for about a week following an hospitalization about a week and a half ago. His attorney said that he suffered a mild heart attack in court and was rushed to a local hospital where he was admitted and may need to undergo heart surgery. While he was in the hospital, high court judge, Justice Martin Gayle, rule that the murder trial must proceed because he has a case to answer to.

    The crown closed its case against the artist on Friday and Ninja Man then gave an unworn testimony. This means that the trial could be wrapped up within the next week when the three co-accused will know their fate. Ninja Man, born Desmond Ballentine, his son Jamiel Ballentine, and another man, Dennis Clayton, are charged with the murder of Ricardo Johnson, known in the Kingston 11 community as Ricky Trooper. Cops say he was gunned down in March 2009 on Marl Road, Kingston 11, by the three men who were also charged with shooting with intent.

    The prosecution introduced seven witnesses in the trial including an overseas based witness and three civilians. Ninja’s defense attorney responded with a no case submission.

    Ninja Man and his co-accused have maintained their innocence.