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No Place Like Home - Jamal “Shyne” Barrow is Back Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 00:00

After being incarcerated for almost nine years, Jamal Barrow, A.K.A. Shyne, is now a free man in his home country, Belize. His plane landed at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The scene at the Phillip Goldson International Airport seemed set to make “Shyne” feel like he was still in New York City. Over a dozen cameras awaited his arrival as the Belize media and private photographers acted like trained paparazzi. He was first greeted by his closest friends from New York City who had taken the journey to Belize to greet their loved one as a free man. He then made his way to the VIP section of the airport, where he was

greeted by his father, Hon. Dean Barrow; uncle, Hon. Michael Finnegan; brother, Anwar Barrow and other family members including his grandmother.

While Shyne was being processed by Belize’s law enforcement officials, Hon. Michael Finnegan gave a statement to the desperate media representatives on the scene saying that “Shyne is home and he wishes to express how happy he is to be home and to be a free man.” Shyne did not speak to the media based on the advice of his attorney, Prof. Ogletree, who believes that a public statement may prejudice his ongoing case with the United State’s Immigration Officials. Prof. Ogletree is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Saturday, October 31, and at that time he will be accompanied by Shyne as he speaks to the media. Prof. Ogletree is a high profile law professor who President Barack Obama regards as a mentor.

Around 2:30 am on December 27, 1999, gunfire exploded inside Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub. Three people were shot and police chased after and surrounded a sport utility vehicle that had raced from the scene - through red traffic lights. Inside the vehicle was music executive Sean Combs, music star Jennifer Lopez, bodyguard Anthony "Wolf” Jones, and chauffeur Wardell Fenderson. A 9mm pistol was discovered in the car and the passengers were arrested. Jamaal "Shyne" Barrow was arrested at Club New York. At the time he was a rising rap star being groomed by Sean “Puffy” Combs for Bad Boy Records. Shyne was charged for attempted murder, assault, criminal use and possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment. All accused were acquitted of their charges except Shyne. He was acquitted of attempted murder and one count of assault but was found guilty of all other charges. On March 16, 2001, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Now Shyne is at home and he is free.  Minister Finnegan said that it was a very emotional time in the VIP section of the airport as hugs were exchanged between Shyne and his grandmother, father, brother and other family members. Finnegan’s first words to Shyne were “Coh ya old buoy!” - an affectionate term that he used to call him from a very young age. His first act after being cleared by law officials was to visit the Princess Royal Youth Hostel located at Mile 21 on the Western Highway with the Director of the Youth for the Future, Dianne Finnegan. There he spoke to the residents of that facility, who are all troubled youths.

And though he is fighting to return to the United States in order to continue his entertainment career, he is not the least bit sour about his time here in Belize. As he departed from the airport, he waved at the Belizeans who made their way to see him. He entered his luxury SUV but quickly got out because he noticed that his brother Anwar was not by his side. One woman close to the family said, “Maybe it was best for him to be deported. He really needs this time to be with his family.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2009 12:14