Court hears details of Schirn crime scene

| 02/12/2009

(CNS): The RCIPS scenes of crime officer who examined the scene where Sabrina Schirn’s body was found as well as the abandoned vehicle she was last seen to be driving submitted around one hundred pieces of evidence to the court on Tuesday, from condom wrappers to machetes. As the trial of Randy Martin for the murder of the 21-year-old Schirn reached into its second week, Zoan Marin, who took evidence from the murder scene, the car and the prison farm in East End, told the court that she and a fellow officer had walked and timed the various distance associated with the crime scenes.

Marin said that it took around seven minutes from where the car was abandoned to the orange grove at Wilderness Farm, the prison agricultural facility where the defendant was working on the day the prosecution believe Schirn was killed. She said that walking at a brisk pace it took around six minutes to reach the tomato patch from the orange grove where Martin was reportedly weeding during the morning of 11 March.

Walking from there back to where the car was discovered, Marin said, was around nine minutes. She then explained to the court that the drivefrom the area near where the body was found to the lane where the car was found was around a minute, but the rocky trail down to where the car was eventually discovered was rough and rocky terrain making it difficult driving, which she said took another three minutes.

The geography of the prison farm in relation to the crime scenes forms an important part of the prosecution’s case, and the judge, Justice Charles Quin, said he believed it would be beneficial to visit the area to gain a better understanding of the distances between the locations and the type of terrain. Justice Quinn said that it would be useful if Marincould accompany the court trip, which would include the defence, prosecution and court staff.

During her testimony, which lasted for the best part of the day, Marin listed many of the items she had seized during the examination, as well as the finger prints she had lifted and blood swabs taken for DNA analysis. She said she also took into evidence two machetes and a cell phone from the prison farm, plus Martin’s clothes. She said she had sealed and sent a white marina top belonging to Martin for DNA analysis but there was no mention of a grey marina that prison officer Dehany had said Martin was wearing on 11 March.

Marin took the court through the two crime scenes, searches in the surrounding areas, and the farm itself, as well as the various discoveries, such as a prison issue glove, the keys to the car Schirn was driving, a pendant, pieces of a BlackBerry phone and its battery scattered around the area, and around a half dozen different condom wrappers that were found in the area around the body.

She explained that when she came upon the murder scene she saw that the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition, was lying on her back with one leg bent up behind. She said the body was clothed in a bra, a denim skirt and stripped panties and a blue blouse was found several feet away in an abandoned shed as well as a pair of black slippers. As well as taking prints and swabs from the area she said she had photographed and recorded a shoe impression by the shed.

During the day’s testimony the court also heard from Prison Officer Marlon Hudson, who is in charge of security at the prison. He confirmed he had received a call from Dehany on 11 March when he suspected that Martin was up to something and wanted to shut down the farm. He said he was off duty that day she he did not know if the shut-down ever happened. He also testified that a few days later he had received another call from Dehany who said he needed to meet with him urgently.

Hudson explained he was in a joint intelligence unit meeting that day but eventually managed to get away to go meet Dehany but he said he was delayed in traffic and reached the Bodden Town meeting a little later after Dwight Scott, the director of prisons had already arrived. It was here that Dehany had allegedly handed over the mobile phone that he had found on the prison farm a few days after the incident with Martin on the 11 March.

Asked about why his number may have been on cell phone discovered at the prison farm in 2008 that was being used by the defendant, Martin, he said he did not know as he had not given it to him but that his cell number was not a secret.

The trial continues on Wednesday morning with testimony from the prosecution’s DNA expert witness.

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