Ninjaman Working With Troubled Inmates In Prison

Ninjaman is set to work with troubled inmates behind bars as part of a prison initiative he has been working on since his sentencing last month.

The dancehall legend was sentenced to life in prison for his November 20 murder conviction. He will have to serve 25 years before being eligible for parole. A rep for Ninjaman told Dancehall HipHop that he plans to use his time behind bars to mentor troubled inmates to stay out of trouble and lead a positive life. We’re also told that he himself is taking the sentencing very well and is not daunted by the prospects of spending the rest of his life in prison.

“Despite how many of his fans might feel saddened about his sentence, Ninja is upbeat and positive, we all saw him smiling when he was leaving court, while telling us to hold our heads up,” his rep said. “That’s the type of person that he is and now he is taking some inmates, particularly the younger guys, under his wings to help them change their mindsets. A lot of the younger generation look up to Ninjaman and he can simply just go and serve his time and not care about anyone else, but that is not who he is. He may never be a free man again, but a lot of these young guys will one be released back in society.”

Ninjaman, born Desmond Ballentine, is still weighing his options about appealing his conviction, but judging from the case, the odds are stacked against him. The prosecution presented an ironclad case against the dancehall icon with numerous witness, including a man who is placed into the witness protection program who identified Ninjaman as the person who pulled to trigger to kill Ricardo “Ricky Trooper” Johnson in March 2009 during a domestic dispute. The jury unanimously found the three men, Ninjaman, his son Janeil, and Dennis Clayton, guilty of charges ranging from murder to shooting with intent.

Ninjaman will be 76 years old before his first parole hearing.

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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 Sentencing Set For Friday Deejay Faces Life In Prison For Murder

Ninjaman will know his fate this Friday.

The Don Gorgon will be back in court on December 15th for his sentencing hearing. The dancehall legend, whose real name is Desmond Ballentine, his son Janiel, and his close friend Dennis Clayton were found guilty of the murder of Ricardo Johnson. The three men were convicted by a seven-member jury on November 20th in what was a stunning development that sent shock-waves throughout dancehall. All three men are facing life imprisonment for the murder, but Ninjman has indicated that he will likely file an appeal.

Ninjaman’s attorney is asking the judge to be lenient in his sentencing while pointing to the deejay’s charitable work in his community over the years. Several ordinary citizens whom he has helped in the past are also expected to speak in court on his behalf. The prosecution will likely recommend life without parole for the murder, but it will be up to the judge to make the final decision on his prison term. He will be housed at the same Tower Street prison, aka GP, as Vybz Kartel.

Ninjaman, 51, reacted to the murder conviction outside of the Supreme Court building in Kingston on the day he was found guilty. “Don’t f*** with me Jamaica, I’ll be back!” he said, while hinting that he will likely file an appeal. According to authorities, Ninjaman shot and killed Johnson, also known as Ricky Trooper, on Marl Road, Kingston 13, in March 2009 following a domestic dispute. The deejay says he is innocent, but several witnesses including a man who is in witness protection, testified that he was the one who pulled the trigger.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, says the killing was stemmed from a fight between Dennis Clayton a friend of Johnson over kitchen space. The unnamed man who was involved in the fight says two shots were fired at him but he manages to escape and ran for his life.