Randy Lebert Martin was sentenced Wednesday to serve 34 years in prison before he can apply for release, following his 2010 conviction for the murder of Sabrina Schirn.
Ms. Schirn’s body was found on March 17, 2009, six days after she had driven to an East End location then being used as a farm where Northward Prison inmates worked. Ms. Schirn was 21.
Mr. Martin was charged with her murder, but pleaded not guilty and chose to be tried by judge alone. Justice Charles Quin conducted the trial and found the defendant guilty on Jan. 26, 2010.
The only penalty for murder in Cayman at the time was life imprisonment. Since the Conditional Release Law came into force on Feb. 15, 2016, anyone given a life sentence must have a hearing and be given a specific sentence. The law states that for murder, the sentence shall be 30 years unless there are aggravating or extenuating circumstances to raise or lower that term.
Justice Quin found several aggravating circumstances and none that could be considered extenuating.
In his summary of facts, he said that Ms. Schirn had been lured to the prison farm on March 11, 2009, while Mr. Martin, then 35, was a prisoner working there. He had access to a machete. She suffered chop and incise wounds to her head, face and back. There were at least four defensive wounds to her hands and arms.
She died from loss of blood, but the pathologist said the wounds to her head would have caused unconsciousness. She may have died within minutes, but certainly in less than an hour.
Justice Quin said Ms. Schirn was brutally murdered; the mental ordeal and physical suffering were clearly terrifying, he said. This was an aggravating feature, as was the fact that Mr. Martin had concealed her body.
The judge said this crime involved planning and premeditation. Committing the murder, concealing Ms. Schirn’s body, hiding her car, and then getting back to the farm undetected all took time, the judge indicated.
The final consideration was Mr. Martin’s previous convictions, which included wounding, robbery and aggravated burglary.
All these factors led Justice Quin to raise the sentence from 30 years to 34 years, starting Jan. 26, 2010, the date Mr. Martin was found guilty. There was no credit for any time in custody because he had been serving a sentence when the murder occurred.
He must serve the 34 years before he can apply for release on license. Release is not automatic.
Justice Quin passed sentence after hearing submissions on January 24 from Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards and defense attorney Amelia Fosuhene.