Machel faces sentence today
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Thursday, January 17 2013
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Soca superstar Machel Montano ...
WITH Carnival 2013 season in full swing, soca superstar Machel Montano will this morning re-appear before a Port-of Spain magistrate who is expected to pass sentence, having found him guilty last month, on five charges.
On December 10 last year, Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor found Montano, the reigning International Power Soca and Groovy Monarch and Road March king, guilty of the offences. Four of the charges were for assaulting patrons Gerard Bowrin, Brandis Browne, Janelle Lee Chee, and Russell Pollonais. The fifth charge is for using obscene language.
Three other popular local entertainers were also charged with offences, arising out of the same incident which stemmed from a fracas outside the Zen nightclub, in Port-of-Spain, in April, 2007.
They are Kernel Roberts, the son of legendary Calypso icon Lord Kitchener, Joel “Zan” Feveck, a member of Montano’s HD Family, and Rodney “Benjai” Le Blanc. Roberts was found guilty on two charges of assault. However LeBlanc and Feveck were found not guilty. Baboolal-Gafoor is also expected to pass sentence on Roberts this morning. Since the guilty verdict was given last month, scores of fans as well as critics have commented on the issue. Some have expressed their views via letters to the editors and others via social networks and media.
Fans are calling for a non-custodial sentencing for the soca artiste, while critics want a custodial one . The charges against Montano carry a jail term of up to five years in prison.
But although the magistrate has not yet passed her sentence, Montano’s annual Machel Monday concert is also being promoted and advertised to take place on February 4 at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain. Based on advertisements, the event will consist of a three-part concert (Earth, Wind and Fire) which would showcase elements of Carnival. International stars are also scheduled to perform at the concert and tickets are to go on sale from today, the day of his sentencing.
Montano has also been advertised to perform at his alma mater Presentation College, San Fernando, all-inclusive fete entitled “Feteology” on Sunday, among other Carnival events.