An American man charged in a Nov. 3 shooting in Miami that led to the deaths of a woman and her infant daughter stayed in Cayman for more than two months before he was arrested Wednesday on a provisional warrant issued from U.S. federal court.
An attorney for Wayne D. Collier, 29, told the Cayman Islands Summary Court Thursday that his client intended to contest extradition to the U.S., with a preliminary court setting in the matter scheduled Feb. 1 and the extradition hearing tentatively set for March 20-21.
Mr. Collier was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Prospect by armed Royal Cayman Islands Police officers and brought before a magistrate later that day. He will remain in custody until at least the Feb. 1 hearing.
“The RCIPS received a provisional arrest warrant for Mr. Collier on Jan. 9 [Tuesday], after 4 p.m.,” a statement from the police noted. “In less than 24 hours, he was located and arrested by firearms and K-9 officers without incident.
“The RCIPS does not have powers to take people into custody for a crime in another jurisdiction before the receipt of such a warrant.”
What happened between the Nov. 3, 2017 shooting in northwest Miami and the suspect’s arrest Wednesday on Grand Cayman is partly detailed in U.S. court records.
According to an affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Miami, Mr. Collier fled the U.S. on Cayman Airways flight KX103 from Miami on Nov. 3, the day he is alleged to have shot Heidy Bowen, who was eight months pregnant. Ms. Bowen was shot three times in the torso, police said.
“[Mr.] Collier was booked on a return flight scheduled for Nov. 10, 2017, however, he failed to show up for the return flight,” the U.S. court records state.
The shooting did not turn into a murder case until Nov. 15, when Ms. Bowen’s baby girl died at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Immediately following the Nov. 3 shooting, doctors had performed an emergency C-section on Ms. Bowen, attempting to save both the mother and the infant, according to Detective Lee Cowart of Miami-Dade Police.
The baby died 12 days later on Nov. 15.
“An autopsy revealed the cause of death was hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy, which was due to maternal gunshot wounds,” the U.S. court records state.
The next day, Nov. 16, an arrest warrant for Mr. Collier was issued by a Florida state court in connection with the infant’s death. However, on Nov. 20, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency reported that Collier had already left the country via the Cayman Airways flight some 17 days earlier.
On Nov. 22, Florida authorities requested federal courts issue an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant against Mr. Collier, leading to his eventual arrest in Cayman.
Whatever communication occurred between U.S., British and Caymanian authorities regarding the matter between Nov. 22 and the new year is not known. On Jan. 4, 2018, the U.S. federal courts publicly released their arrest warrant for Mr. Collier.
On Jan. 3, Ms. Bowen died due to medical complications from the shooting, leading to another murder charge against Mr. Collier.
Mr. Collier’s attorney, John Furniss, did not state on what grounds his client would be contesting extradition from Cayman, where he is a visitor. Mr. Furniss said he had not received an opportunity to discuss matters with Mr. Collier, and did not know if he would be making a bail application on his behalf during the Feb. 1 court date.
Summary Court Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez ordered that Mr. Collier be held in custody in the meantime.