Officers investigating the murder of Sabrina Schirn in March 2009 did not suspect Northward Prison inmate Randy Martin until early April, by which time he had given a statement in which he said he never met Ms Schirn.
Giving evidence on Friday, Acting Detective Inspector Lauriston Burton said he received information on 2 April that Martin’s DNA was identified in a glove.
Justice Charles Quin has already heard that a prison work glove was found near the car Sabrina drove on 11 March, the day she went missing. The car was found near the prison farm in East End on 16 March, while family and friends found her body further away the day after that.
Mr. Burton said prisoners who worked at the farm were spoken to collectively on 21 March. The said they were willing to cooperate.
Martin said he was willing to give a written statement and did so. After he signed it and was being escorted away, Mr. Burton reported, Martin said, ‘I know that you’ll be coming back to talk to me.’
Mr. Burton said he asked Martin what he meant and was told, ‘I just know that when you go and do your investigation you’ll be coming back to talk to me.’
The officer then read the statement. In it, Martin said he had been in prison since August 2006 for aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm.
Because of his good behaviour and passing urine tests [for drug screening], he worked on the prison farm.
He usually worked in the tomato bed to the front of the farm. Inmates on the farm would not be able to see any vehicle on the main road unless it went all the way down to a dead-end and turned around.
The week of 9 March was a normal workweek, Martin said. On Wednesday, 11 March, he was told to continue doing what he was doing and then work in the pepper bed nearby.
When he got a break he would go down to where the cows were or go up under the mango trees. One of the times he went by the cows, Prison Officers Dehaney and Hunter came down there and searched him, but the statement said they only found him with a ‘draw of weed’.
Martin said the officers told him they suspected he had put something down and they started to search but they didn’t find anything.
‘I did not leave the farm or meet anyone on the farm,’ his statement said. ‘The little draw of weed I had with me at that time was hid on the farm from February.’
Continuing to read Martin’s statement, Mr. Burton quoted, ‘On that day [Wednesday, 11 March] I did not notice any of the inmates leave the farm or anyone come onto the farm. I did not hear anyone say that they were to be visited by anyone and speaking for myself I was not supposed to be visited by anyone.’
After the workers returned to the prison on Thursday, Martin heard prisoners talking that Sabrina had gone missing. At that time he did not know who they were talking about. He heard them teasing Derrick Bush [who has already given evidence] saying his girlfriend had gone missing.
He then saw a picture of Schirn on the news and realised that was the girl they were talking about. He asked if Derrick was dealing with the girl and Derrick said he did not deal with her, but he named two men who were ‘warring over her.’
Martin said ‘That is how I came to know about her and that she dealt with all of them.’
He stated, ‘I never met her before and I have never had any direct or indirect contact with her.’
Martin was arrested on 3 April and charged later that month. Mr. Burton said he went to question Marten on both occasions, but the suspect exercised his legal right not to answer.
Earlier in the day, Acting Detective Sergeant Alrice Palmer showed the court items removed from Martin’s cell after he was charged with murdering Sabrina. Items included a plait of hair in a piece of paper with Sabrina’s name on it. Also found were newspaper clippings about Sabrina being missing.
As Solicitor General Cheryll Richards neared the close of the case for the prosecution, two witnesses are expected to give evidence today although neither the Crown nor the Defence has called them.
Instead Justice Charles Quin ordered a production warrant for a man other witnesses have described as a former boyfriend of Sabrina. He also issued a warrant for that man’s girlfriend.