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Buju Banton juror must again face judge's questions

Buju Banton was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Published Apr. 17, 2013

TAMPA — A juror who helped send reggae star Buju Banton to federal prison can't seem to be rid of the 2011 drug trial.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. ordered former juror Terri Wright to appear before him at a June 26 hearing.

He wants Banton there, too.

Already, a computer expert, with Moody's permission, has taken a crack at determining whether Wright read up on Banton and the law during the trial. Wright contends she waited until the trial was over.

The expert, given access to a hard drive surrendered by Wright, found a trail of 1.6 million Internet history records, he reported. But none pertained to the time frame under scrutiny, which included the trial and the two weeks that followed.

In his order, the judge said Wright would be questioned about the expert's report.

He said she might also be questioned about other issues raised in a defense motion for a new trial.

Banton's attorney, Imhotep Alkebu-lan, suggested in a recent court filing that Wright didn't surrender the correct device.

As evidence, he included two exhibits: a note from the computer expert, who said he inspected a full-sized hard drive, and a Tampa Bay Times article in which Wright's attorney called the client's computer a "laptop."

Her attorney, Lori Palmieri, later reported in an email to parties in the case that she "misspoke" in calling it a laptop.

It wasn't the first time Banton's attorneys have pounced on a published account to fuel their quest for a new trial.

The scrutiny of Wright came after she granted an interview to a South Florida news reporter, who then wrote of her efforts to learn more about the case.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was convicted of trying to set up a deal to buy 11 pounds of cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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