Judge calls two witnesses
Threatening messages left on Sabrina Schirn’s cell phone were examined on Tuesday when Randy Martin’s lead counsel questioned two witnesses called by Justice Charles Quin.
David Evans QC asked last week that Lance Myles and Lee-Anne Ebanks be called so he could ask them about the voice messages and inconsistencies in their statements to police.
Solicitor General Cheryll Richards said she was not calling them as witnesses because their evidence was not relevant to the Crown’s case that Randy, 37, killed Sabrina, 21, between 11-17 March in East End near the prison farm where he worked.
Justice Quin, who is hearing the matter without a jury, has since heard that one of Sabrina’s phones was last active at 11.27am on 11 March.
The judge took the decision to call Lance and Lee-Anne and on Monday appointed attorneys to advise them on their rights and explain their position. Keith Collins assisted Lance, while John Furniss assisted Lee-Anne.
Both attorneys were present on Tuesday and told the court their clients had reservations about giving evidence with Sabrina’s family in the courtroom. Additionally, Mr. Furniss said, Lee-Anne had been subjected to comments and slurs outside.
Justice Quin said the witnesses must be free to give their evidence without repercussions.
He told the members of the deceased’s family they had the condolences of the court and all attorneys. He continued: ‘I am anxious that the administration of justice be conducted without interference or contamination…. Make sure there is no improper contact or interference with either witness,’ he said before asking them to leave.
Lance was questioned first. He said as of March this year he knew Sabrina about two years. They were intimate but he wouldn’t call her his girlfriend.
He agreed Randy Martin is his uncle and was in prison in February 2009. It was also agreed that Lance has been in prison since June after being convicted of attempted murder.
Asked if he ever supplied drugs to anyone at the prison or employed Sabrina to take drugs to the prison farm, he answered no both times. He said he did not know Sabrina was in contact with Randy.
A message left on Sabrina’s phone in early March was played in court; Lance agreed it was his voice.
Asked about the content, he said Sabrina had threatened him that she was going to bring her boyfriend Patrick to f— him up. ‘If she was giving messages from Patrick, I give him messages through her…. If you come to me and threaten me I’m going to defend myself,’ he replied. ‘That’s not a threat, that’s opinion.’
Lance said he did go to Sabrina’s workplace, ‘but there were no threats made whatsoever…. I went in there to tell her something and ask her to leave me alone.’ He said Sabrina was accusing him of something he had no knowledge of — flattening her car tyres and leaving a word scratched on her car.
Mr. Evans asked about a statement Lance made to police on 18 March. In it, he said he and Lee-Anne woke up together on Wednesday, 11 March, because she had spent the night at his house. Later they went to Wendy’s to get food for her children and they carried it to the school.
Asked why Lee-Anne would phone him that morning if they were together, he said she could be inside the house and he could be outside washing his car.
Mr. Evans referred to Lance’s phone records for 11 March, noting a series of calls and then ‘a curious gap’ between 10.54am and 12.34pm when Lance’s mobile phone didn’t make or receive a call.
‘So? Nobody called – what you want me to do?’ the witness responded.
Asked again about his statement to police, he said Lee-Anne had left him around 2pm on 11 March; she went to do something. Any suggestion that she was with him the whole day was wrong. He said he did not discuss with Lee-Anne what she said in her statement to police.
Asked if any suggestion that he went to East End and met Sabrina would be totally wrong he replied, ‘Exactly.’
Ms Richards had one question: between 10.54 and 12.34 on 11 March, did Lance go to the prison farm? ‘No,’ he answered.
Lee-Anne admitted there were two parts of her statement to police that were not entirely true.
She had said she never had an argument with Sabrina. In fact, she had left a message on Sabrina’s phone on 10 March. It was to the effect that if Sabrina valued her life she should stop f—— with people.
She said she would have said the same thing if Sabrina had answered the phone. That was the day Sabrina was allegedly going to scratch Lance’s car. Lee-Anne said she had Lance’s car that day and Lance called and yelled at her because of where she parked. His words made her aggravated, which was why she used the words she did to Sabrina.
At the time of giving her statement she was terrified because she realised something must have happened to Sabrina. She still felt she had something to fear, but she had spoken with her parents and decided to tell the truth.
She said she knew Lance had been to Sabrina’s workplace and had threatened her. Mr. Evans asked her, ‘So is that the reason you lied? To help Lance Myles?’
She replied, ‘It was to help myself.’
Asked about telling police she was with Lance all day on 11 March, she said it was partially a lie. She was with him in the morning, but was pressured by Lance to say she was with him in the afternoon.
He had intimidated her. There was physical contact that escalated and she didn’t know what to think. Asked what the threat was, she said she didn’t wish to share it, but was desperately in fear.
Mr. Evans concluded by asking, ‘It is Lance Myles who caused you to do the things I’m complaining of, isn’t it?’
‘Not entirely,’ she said.
Ms Richards asked Lee-Anne her movements on 11 March. She said she was at Lance’s house until around 11.15-11.30 when they went to deliver lunch to the school. They left the school about 12.30-12.45 and went to her mother’s house in West Bay, then headed back to George Town.
She then had errands and departed from Lance around 2-2.30pm.