Man charged with Brian Rankine’s murder

William David Martinez McLaughlin, 31, appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday morning charged with the murder earlier this month of Brian Adrian Rankine, 20.

rankine

Mr Rankine

Defence Attorney Keith Collins said his client denied the charge.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards told the court that Brian’s body was found lifeless and naked in the early hours of Saturday, 17 May, in the vicinity of McField Lane, George Town.

According to an autopsy, there were stab wounds and chop wounds, one of which severed the spinal cord in the neck.

Ms Richards said the scene was processed and a number of blood particles identified. The blood spatter extended six feet. A cap was recovered from under Brian’s left foot.

A witness who had seen suspicious activity noted a van in the area and took down its licence number. Police investigated. McLaughlin was said to be a passenger in the van, which was driven by Jason Hinds.

Hinds, 26, was charged on Tuesday with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Ms Richards said it appeared that McLaughlin had sent Rankine on an errand. Whatever the products or fruits of that errand, they did not find favour with McLaughlin.

Police are still in the process of gathering evidence, she said, including tests of the cap recovered and McLaughlin’s shoes.

Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale summarised the situation as there being cogent circumstantial evidence, but the Crown needing more time for scientific evidence.

Ms Richards agreed. She and Mr. Collins asked for another mention on Wednesday, 4 June. McLaughlin was remanded to Northward Prison.

A news release from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on Tuesday evening said McLaughlin was from East End and Hinds from Bodden Town.

In court on Tuesday, Hinds was described as a Jamaican national here on work permit. He was charged with receiving, transporting and assisting McLaughlin in disposing of articles of clothing and weapons from the scene of the incident, well knowing that McLaughlin murdered Brian Rankine.

Weapons referred to by Ms Richards on Wednesday were an ice pick and a machete.

No mention was made on either day of McLaughlin’s nationality.

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