Martinez guilty of murder

| 21/04/2011

(CNS): William McLaughlin-Martinez has been found guilty — again — of the murder of Brian Rankine-Carter. The jury of ten women and two men took just short of two and a half hours to decide their unanimous guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon following a re-trial which lasted less than two weeks. Martinez hung his head as the verdict was relayed to him and remained impassive as the judge handed down the mandatory life sentence. This is the second time Martinez has been found guilty of the killing, which took place in May 2008. The 34-year-old man was tried and convicted in July 2009, but the verdict was overturned by the Court of Appeal last year as a result of a misdirection from the trial judge in response to a jury query.

The crown almost missed securing this second conviction, however, as thetrial was postponed twice as a result of the prosecution’s difficulty in locating the principal witness in the case. Jason Hinds, who was Martinez’ co worker at Fisher Plumbing, is a Jamaican national who was deported back to that country, having been released early from a three year prison sentence after he had pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of murder.

Hinds was with Martinez on the night Rankine was killed and admitted to assisting in the disposal of the evidence. The crown relied on Hinds’ account to build its case against Martinez in conjunction with forensic and circumstantial evidence, which they said supported his narrative of the night’s events. The key witness eventually gave evidence via video link

The case was marred by a number of what were described by the senior investigating officer on the case as "cock-ups" in the investigation and with the chain of evidence. As well as losing video tape evidence, police failed to send a machete that was found at the home of Jason Hinds, which he said he had used to bury his bloody clothes, for testing until the first trial almost a year after the murder had taken place.

Rankine was killed, according to the expert forensic witness, with a weapon akin to a machete or an axe.

His naked body was discovered in a car park in McField Lane, George Town. The killing, in which he had suffered almost 50 wounds inflicted mostly by a machete, was clearly a frenzied attack and expert witnesses said that the victim’s head had been almost severed from the body.

The motive for the murder, the prosecution said during the trial, was that a drug deal between Martinez and Rankine had gone wrong. Although Caymanian and living in East End at the time of his arrest, McLaughlin-Martinez, who is married with three children, was born in Honduras and came to Cayman when he was around six years old, the court heard during the trial.

During the trial the jury was told that the case rested heavily on the veracity of Hinds’ account and whether or not they believed his narrative of the night’s events.

In the wake of the conviction the defence team representing Martinez, having had one successful appeal, said they would be reviewing the case and assessing the grounds for another appeal on behalf of their client.

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Category: Crime

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You should never see the light of day. It is a pity that you could not suffer that same way that your victim did.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pig!

    Hope you rot in prison!

  3. New secret admirer says:

    May you now relive this terrible crime you commited and be haunted by it every night you try and go sleep. God said Vengeance is mine. Rather you then me !

    • Anonymous says:

      This punishment is only available to people with a conscience.  We can only hope some prison justice is meted to this scum. But then again he will be going to Northward Social Club so not holding my breath on that either.

  4. Anonymous says:

    When will the RCIP get their act together?

    I am so tired of hearing about the "cock-ups" to the case preparation done by the RCIP.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This article says Martinez has 3 children but it has always been said that he only has 1 step daughter by his wife. Was this a pity seeking lie!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good Riddance Scum Bag

  7. Royal CIPS Cock-up! says:

    “Cock-ups”? “Failed to send the machete for testing”.
    What type of Police work is this?
    Oh, i do remember though that the Police were very quick to busy themselves with utmost urgency, within days of this most violent murder, saying “this was not a hate crime”. Seemingly to squelch talk/rumours that the victim being “homosexual” had anything to do with the killing.

    Never mind that the Police also said at the same time “we are investigating” and asking for witnesses.
    How does one conclude it’s “not a hate crime” while “still investigating”? 50 chops seems very much hateful to me!

    I’m not saying who might or might not be guilty….i’m just soooooooo tired of poor Police work and the resulting Police “Cock-ups” which further results in mountains of money and other limited resources being wasted!

    • sooth sayer says:

      Tired of poor police work? Then do something about it. Whining on here will change nothing. You get bent over the desk on a daily basis by the RCIP and you can, and should, actually stand up and do something. If the middle east can rebel against dictators, why can’t you? Grow a pair, and stand up demanding a vote of no confidence against the ‘senior’ officers of the RCIP. XXXX

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s a good thing that the Cayman Islands has a competent Director of Public Prosecutions in Ms. Sheryl Richards, as this case did have a number of “screw up’s” by RCIPS investigators, for which a conviction may/could have been lost.

    Well done Ms.Richards and “the few” RCIPS officers who worked this case and showed much professionalism and detective ability.