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.

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.