Inmate charged with murder

Northward Prison inmate Randy Lebert Martin appeared in Summary Court on Friday morning charged with the murder of Sabrina Schirn.

Attorney Phillip McGhee told Magistrate Grace Donalds that Martin, 34, ‘does not accept these allegations.’

Details of the charge against him are that between 11 and 17 March 2009 at Grand Cayman, he caused the death of another, namely Sabrina Schirn, with malice aforethought, express or implied, by an unlawful act or omission.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards set out the background to the charge. She said Ms Schirn was reported missing on 11 March. On 17 March, her body was found in a decomposed state.

Police have previously stated that the discovery was in bush land off High Rock Road in East End.

Ms Richards said a post mortem examination to determine the cause of death showed multiple sharp force and chop injuries – 15 in total – to the head, face, shoulders, arm and hands.

The evidence against Martin is circumstantial, consisting of a number of items, she said. One item is a prior connection between the accused and the deceased and an arrangement between them to meet in East End. Martin was present on the prison farm in East End on 11 March.

Ms Richards said there was evidence of interaction between a person wearing prison clothes and a female driving a white car. Ms Schirn was driving a white car that day.

There is significant forensic evidence, Ms Richards continued. An item allegedly worn by Martin was found to contain the blood of Ms Schirn.

There is also evidence of a possible reason for the killing on the part of the accused, she said.

In summary, there appeared to be evidence of opportunity, conduct and motive, the three pillars in a case of a circumstantial evidence, she indicated.

Significant evidence is still outstanding, she advised, particularly forensic material.

Copies of statements and the preliminary forensic report were being provided to Mr. McGhee. Both attorneys agreed on Wednesday, 13 May as another mention date.

Mr. McGhee told the court that his firm, Walkers, had decided to close its criminal department this autumn, so he would not be able to represent Martin. He had explained this to Martin, who will have to make arrangements for new representation.

The magistrate ruled that Martin should be remanded initially to the Central Police Station and then transferred to the prison.

About a dozen spectators left the courtroom sombrely after Martin returned to the cells downstairs.

A news release from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said Ms Schirn’s family had been informed of the charges.