Defence: Voice messages create doubt

The trial of Randy Lebert Martin was adjourned early Monday so the Crown could determine whether there was further voice mail information relating to the phones of Sabrina Schirn, whom Martin is accused of murdering in March this year.

His senior counsel, David Evans QC, told Justice Charles Quin ‘The late disclosure of phone evidence has raised increasing concerns about other persons’ conduct toward Sabrina Schirn.’

He said there were some voice messages that were very threatening and they came from a former boyfriend of Sabrina’s and his girlfriend.

He said the Crown had not agreed whether other persons’ phone calls could be admitted as evidence.

Mr. Evans pointed out that it was not for Randy Martin to identify who killed Sabrina, it was for the Crown to make the court sure that he did do it. Other persons may have had motive and opportunity, he suggested.

He and Solicitor General Cheryll Richards QC, who is conducting the case for the prosecution with Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn, were scheduled to present their arguments on the questions of relevance and admissibility of statements made by other persons Sabrina knew.

Ms Richards advised the court that the Crown had requested phone records in May and started getting them in October and November. She did not object to the Defence needing more time to study those records.

Mr. Evans said most of the phone record work had been done by his instructing attorney, Adam King.

Various witnesses have told the court that Sabrina always had her two phones with her – one Digicel and one Cable & Wireless.

A mobile phone technology investigator from Cable & Wireless gave evidence on Friday that the last time his company registered an incoming call on Sabrina’s telephone was at 11.27.35am on 11 March.

That was the day friends and a co-worker said they last saw or spoke to her. That last call was a text message. At the time, records showed, Sabrina’s phone was in the High Rock area of East End. That area is where Sabrina’s body was found on 17 March.

That is also the area in which the prison farm is located. Randy was among seven inmates in the prison work party that day.

The witness, referred to by the court as Mr. X because of the sensitive nature of his work, explained how mobile phone records are obtained and retained.

He described the various cell sites around the island as radio devices for transmitting signals. A person who makes a call while driving, for example, will have his call handed over from cell site to cell site without a break. The mobile phone network automatically records a phone’s activity and its movements.

When someone sends a voice message, it goes to a voice message platform and is then sent to the recipient.

Sabrina’s phone was never active again after 11.27.35am on 11 March. However, there were voice messages of calling parties, and these were forwarded to the voice mail platform.