Judge sums up case

Jurors in the attempted murder trial of Sheldon Brown began their deliberations around 11.30 yesterday morning.

Brown, 36, is charged with attempting to unlawfully kill James Fernando Martin on 17 August 2004 at the Cayman Islander Hotel.

As an alternative, he is charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr. Justice Dale Sanderson told the seven jurors there were three possible verdicts: guilty of attempted murder; not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of grievous bodily harm; not guilty of either charge.

If they were sure the defendant was guilty, they must return a verdict of guilty. If they were not sure, their verdict must be not guilty.

He explained that the charge of attempted murder includes the intention to unlawfully cause death. Jurors would have to be sure that Brown intended to murder Martin and, with that intention, did more than mere preparation.

If they were not sure of attempted murder, they had to go on to consider grievous bodily harm. The Crown had to prove its case so that they were sure of two things: that Sheldon Brown intentionally and unlawfully assaulted Fernando Martin, in this case by gunshot, and that the injuries were serious.

The judge reviewed the evidence as the Crown and then the Defence had put their case.

Topics he addressed included the reliability or otherwise of the complainant; evidence of gunshot residue and the possibility of it being present because of innocent or deliberate contamination; Brown’s alibi, that he was home that night with the woman who is now his wife and he did not leave.

A defendant does not have to prove an alibi, the judge said. The burden is on the Crown to prove it is untrue.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now