Written by on January 25, 2017

A St. Lucian Soca artist has been freed after serving almost 8 years in jail for murder.

Yesterday Jonathan St. Rose – known as Soca artist ‘Ninja Dan’, was released from prison after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal accepted his appeal against a 20 year-jail sentence.

Last year, Ninja Dan and 2 men were convicted of murder for the stabbing death of Dwayne ‘Chubby’ James in February 2009.

Though they pled guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and had already served 7 years and 4 months awaiting trial, they were sentenced to 20 years in prison. Shortly after, they filed an application challenging the sentences with the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeals said their sentence was commuted to time served because the sentencing judge wrongly adopted a benchmark of 20 years imprisonment, did not consider the guilty plea entered by the 3 men, and did not take into account time served on remand.

Upon his release, he also extended his condolences to the victim’s family and said he hopes to reconcile with the man’s mother.

Ninja Dan said the experience had left him a new and better man, and although he feels the victim’s family’s pain, he and his co-accused are victims too because they had to plead guilty to gain their freedom.

A former St. Lucian Soca Monarch winner, Ninja Dan is working on making a video for a song he wrote in prison entitled ‘Justice Denied’.

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