Phone records contradict Martin

Evidence completed, closing speeches today

Before ending his testimony on Tuesday, Randy Lebert Martin told the court, ‘I had nothing to do with Sabrina Schirn’s death.’

Martin, 37, is charged with murdering Ms Schirn, 21, in March 2009. Her body, with numerous chop wounds, was found in a bushy area off High Rock Road in East End on 17 March. Martin admitted on Monday that he had seen Ms Schirn on 11 March, when she came to visit him near the prison farm further up on High Rock Road.

No one else has reported seeing her after her drive to East End on 11 March and records of her two cell phones show their last use that day.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards used those records in questioning Martin about the timing of Ms Schirn’s visit. He had said he met her at 10.38am. He knew the time because he had looked at his watch.

An inmate at Northward Prison, Martin was a member of a work party made up of trusted prisoners. Earlier he told the court he could not be out of the guards’ sight for very long before they would come looking for him.

On the morning of the 11th, he had arranged for another inmate to whistle if any guard asked for him. He said he met Ms Schirn at a shed on another property near the prison farm.

She brought him cigarettes and ganja and they engaged in sexual activity, Martin said. They were together 10 or 11 minutes. Then the other inmate called and he went back to the prison farm and she drove off the way she came.

Ms Richards showed him charts of phone calls showing times, which phone number made the call, which phone number received the call, and which cell site on the Island transmitted the signal.

Martin agreed he had called Ms Schirn at 10.27am. Records showed her Digicel phone was in the cell site area of Prospect. ‘You are still saying she was with you at 10.38am – 11 minutes later?’ Ms Richards asked.

‘Yes, ma’am,’ Martin replied.

Record proof

Ms Richards pointed out that records for Ms Schirn’s Cable and Wireless phone showed it to be in the Savannah/Bodden Town area cell site at 10.37am. She asked how Ms Schirn could have met Martin at 10.38am as he claimed.

‘There are things on this I can’t explain,’ Martin said about the chart. ‘I am looking at it but I don’t understand it.’

Ms Richards suggested that Martin had given the time of 10.38am to distance himself from the time of Ms Schirn’s death. He said no.

He was reminded of evidence that the last call on Ms Schirn’s phone was at 10.59am. Ms Richards suggested that was when Ms Schirn was telling him she had arrived. Martin said no – she had already left and had the radio playing loud because she wanted him to hear a song.

Asked to explain other calls on Ms Schirn’s phones before 10.59am, he said she called him after she left to say one of the guards was at the farm gate talking to someone. That was around 10.52am.

Another call, at 10.56am, was to arrange that she would visit him again on the 18th. Martin said they did not have time to make that plan before parting because the inmate had signalled.

Another boyfriend

Before that, while they were together and he was caressing her, she phoned another boyfriend. Martin said she did so because she had a bruise on her cheek and said that boyfriend had hit her; Martin said he wanted to talk to that man, but a girl answered and the man wasn’t there.

Ms Richards suggested that Martin’s meeting with Ms Schirn took place after 10.59am and he had made up stories about the earlier meeting because he knew what had occurred after 10.59am. Martin said no.

Ms Richards asked him about a voice message he had left on Ms Schirn’s phone the week before the 11th – that he only needed her to pick him up from the farm and drop him in East End. Martin said he did not tell her to pick him up from the farm.

He disagreed with the suggestion that Ms Schirn had picked him up and taken him further away from the farm. He answered no to the suggestions that he had time to be with Ms Schirn where her body was found, that he used his machete to chop and injure her, that he then walked to the car and drove it to where it was found [closer to the prison farm] and then went back to the farm.

After the series of suggestions, Martin said ‘No ma’am, I had no reason to kill Sabrina, ma’am…. All I know, me and her met. That was about it.’

Reminded of evidence that Martin believed Ms Schirn to be involved in the shooting of his brother in 2004, he again said no – it was a different Sabrina. He gave her last name.

Re-examined by his counsel, David Evans, Martin said he had a statement from that other Sabrina and from his brother about the shooting.

Justice Charles Quin, who is hearing the matter without a jury, asked Martin several questions.

He wanted to know about Martin’s left arm, which was injured in an accident in 2001. He could lift it without holding it, but said he had to brace himself to do it. Earlier he said his fingers could not grip a pen.

The judge asked about cell phone use by prisoners and asked the name of the inmate who Martin said had given the signal that a guard was looking for him.

Justice Quin said it seemed a little bit strange that Martin didn’t try to phone Ms Schirn on the Thursday or Friday after their Wednesday meeting. Martin said he didn’t have any reason to, because he had the ganja. He said he didn’t think it strange that Ms Schirn did not call him, although he agreed she was a person who called a lot.

‘In light of the tender moment you had, you didn’t think to call her?’ the judge asked. Martin said they already had the next week’s meeting lined up.

After the judge’s questions, Mr. Evans said that was the case for the Defence. Ms Richards and he were expected to address the court today (Thursday), perhaps going into Friday.