An American man wanted in Florida for the murders of a woman and baby appeared in Cayman’s Summary Court late Tuesday, when he agreed to be extradited back to the United States.
In the presence of Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez, defendant Wayne Collier signed a copy of a U.S. diplomatic note stating that if he were extradited, the death penalty would not be sought.
Mr. Collier, 29, had come to Cayman on Nov. 3, 2017, the same day he is accused of shooting Heidy Brown, who was eight months pregnant at the time. Mr. Collier was due to leave Cayman on Nov. 10, but did not show up for the return flight.
The baby, whom doctors had tried to save through surgery, died on Nov. 15. The mother died on Jan. 3, 2018.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service received a provisional arrest warrant for Mr. Collier on Jan. 9; he was located and arrested within 24 hours. He is wanted on the two murder charges and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mr. Collier first appeared in court in Cayman on Jan. 11. He was kept in custody while arrangements were being made for the formal extradition process, including a court hearing scheduled for March.
On Tuesday, Magistrate Hernandez read the diplomatic note and referred to a section saying that the state of Florida would not seek the death penalty.
Cayman’s Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards agreed that the death penalty was an issue. The U.S. has the death penalty; the U.K. does not.
The note says that the government of the United States assures the government of the United Kingdom that the death penalty is not and will not be an applicable punishment in this case, should Mr. Collier be extradited to the U.S.
The note also indicates that the state attorney in Florida responsible for prosecuting the matter will not seek the death penalty nor will it be imposed. The assurance is binding on all future prosecutors in the state of Florida.
Attorney John Furniss said that the matter would be prosecuted in Florida as “second degree murder,” for which the penalty is life imprisonment.
“Mr. Collier wishes to fight the case back in the U.S.,” Mr. Furniss told the court, adding that the defendant obviously could not fight it in Cayman.
It was necessary for Mr. Collier to sign the note in the magistrate’s presence, which he did. The magistrate then asked if he understood that he was consenting and his consent was irrevocable. He said yes. Asked if he understood that she was now transmitting the case to be processed for extradition, he replied, “Yes, ma’am.”
The necessary papers would be sent to the Governor’s Office, the magistrate told Mr. Collier. She remanded him in custody until arrangements were made for his departure.