Cayman’s gang lifestyle revealed in murder trial

Around $100,000 has been spent on keeping the former girlfriend of Raziel Jeffers in a police witness protection program, a court heard Friday.

Megan Martinez, giving evidence in Jeffers’s trial for the 2010 murder of “numbers man” Marcos Duran acknowledged that she had asked her police handlers for a bigger house and a car.

But she said she was not motivated by money or by revenge and just wanted to tell the truth.

Describing herself as “an abandoned child, left at the mercy of the world,” she acknowledged she had been involved with gangs, guns and drugs since she was 13.

She accepted she had previous relationships with Damian Ming and Robert Bush, both of whom were murdered in separate incidents.

Ms. Martinez, who has a son with Jeffers and was in a relationship with him at the time of the killing of Duran, has testified that he told her the details of his role in masterminding and aiding the botched robbery that led to the death of the numbers man in West Bay.

Under cross-examination from Jeffers’s lawyer, Brian O’Neill QC, on Friday, she acknowledged she had been a “wild child” and had once referred to herself as a “Logwoods Princess.”

But she denied she was making up parts of her story to hurt Jeffers because of his affiliation to the rival Birch Tree Hill Gang or to make money for herself.

“I loved Raziel Jeffers, I don’t care what you say,” she told the barrister.

“It started as sex, but after I had my baby and I got to know him, he’s not all bad. I respected him and I wanted to protect him. I wanted my son to have what I didn’t have – a family.

“It’s not about a vendetta, it’s not about revenge, it’s just about telling the truth – and yes, I’m going to help my son in the process. Why shouldn’t I?”

She accepted that the Cayman government was paying for schooling as well as medical expenses as part of the witness protection plan. Mr. O’Neill put the total figure spent on her so far at around $100,000.

Ms. Martinez said she wanted money to help secure her son’s future and was concerned about what would happen to him if she had a nervous breakdown.

“I would not have taken this course if it was not for my son,” she said. “It is not only my physical self, my mental sanity is at risk. Every day I’m dealing with this, I have to worry if I will have a breakdown tomorrow.”

She said she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the “many traumatic events” she had witnessed.

Ms. Martinez acknowledged she was angry but insisted she had told the truth when she gave evidence about Jeffers’s account of his role in the death of Mr. Duran.

When the barrister suggested she was “the last person anyone would confide in,” she said. “That’s the beauty of it. He did tell me all his business because he never expected me to fight back. What he expected was I would be afraid … and I was, I was afraid for a long time. I thought he was the most powerful force to be reckoned with, but I have learned different.

“I see how pathetic he is. I see he is just as scared as all the rest.”

During her testimony, Ms. Martinez gave details of some of the West Bay gang skirmishes, saying she had been afraid for the life of her son, following threats. She said she had taken the threats seriously because of the killing of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes.

She acknowledged she had a previous relationship with Robert Bush, who was described in court as a leading member of the Logwoods gang. She accepted that she had been in bed with Mr. Bush on one occasion when his house was “shot up” and she was grazed by one of the bullets, agreeing with the barrister’s assertion that she was a “Logwoods girl” at the time.

But she denied that her testimony against Jeffers was motivated by any loyalty to Logwoods.

“I begged Robert, please, not to hurt him (Raziel), he’s the father of my child. I didn’t want to see either of them hurt. Robert, Raziel. No sides,” she said.

In her evidence in chief, Ms. Martinez claimed Jeffers told her of his role in the robbery that led to Mr. Duran’s fatal shooting.

She said he had told her he had been inside the flat in Maliwinas Way, watching television with her aunt, and had alerted his “soldiers” when the numbers man – a regular visitor to the apartment to sell lottery tickets – was leaving.

He had stepped out of her aunt’s apartment to find Mr. Duran, dead or dying, slumped near the doorway and had jumped over the body to escape.

She claims Jeffers had told her of the plan to rob the numbers man and claimed the guns used in the robbery were his. In conversations the following day, she said he had told her he had spent the day cleaning the blood from a vehicle used in the robbery.

She said he told her the account of the killing of the numbers man, related to him by his accomplices. She said Mr. Duran had tried to wrestle the gun from one of the robbers, Pinga, when it went off, injuring him. Another of the masked men, who she referred to as Joshua, had then shot the numbers man with a different gun, she said, and they helped their injured accomplice down the stairs to a waiting vehicle.

The Crown acknowledges that Jeffers may not have personally shot Mr. Duran, but prosecutors say he is culpable in law for the murder because he organized and then aided and abetted the robbery.

Jeffers denies the charges, and the trial continues.