Schirn bled to death

| 30/11/2009

(CNS): The pathologist who conducted the medical examination on the badly decomposed body of Sabrina Schirn said she had died from multiple stab and chop wounds to her head and upper body. Mark Shuman explained that there was no single fatal wound that would have killed the 21-year old but that she died as a result of bleeding from so many wounds in her head, neck, face and upper back.  Testifying in the trial of Randy Martin for the murder of Schirn, the expert witness told the court that there were more than twenty different incise and chop wounds, including defence wounds that almost severed two of her fingers.

Shuman told the court that he could not pinpoint the time of death as the body was badly decomposed, but the state of the body was consistent with the prosecution’s estimate that she was killed on Wednesday 11 March. The doctor explained that the wounds ranged in size from around 3cms to as much as 19cms in length and some were multiple wounds in the same location.

He also said the chop wounds on Sabrina’s body were consistent with a machete or an axe and the incise wounds with a knife. Neither the prosecution nor the defence asked the witness if one or two weapons were used or if the directions of the wounds could tell anything about Schirn’s killer.

The pathologist described wounds to Schirn’s head, face, neck, shoulders, back and hands and explained how most of the wounds did not penetrate the bone, but many had severed muscle. Put together, the doctor said, they would have caused Sabrina to bleed to death. When asked by the defence if the assailant would be covered in blood after committing the murder Shuman said not necessarily as none of the wounds would have spurted blood but were more likely to seep.

During the day’s court proceedings on Friday, the defence read in a number of agreed witness statements. They also called Schirn’s sister to the stand, who testified that Sabrina had wanted to borrow money from the family for a planned shopping trip to Miami, which they spoke about on the Monday before she died. Schirn’s sister told David Evans QC, when asked by the lead defence counsel about the relationships that Sabrina had been involved in, that she had some concerns about the thuggish boys she associated with from time to time. She also confirmed that Lance Myles, who had been in and out of prison, had told her he loved Sabrina and wanted to marry her.

Another of Sabrina’s former boyfriends, who is serving time in Eagle House, told the court that he had lent gloves to the defendant Randy Martin just a few days before the murder. Andy Myles, who is serving time for armed robbery, said that before going to prison he and Sabrina were together, and although he tried to keep the relationship up when he was sent to Eagle House, she began to see other people.

Myles told the court that he knew Martin, who although older had been placed in Eagle House for a time. Myles explained that he had gloves for doing construction work at the prison site and Martin had asked if he could borrow a glove for his farm work. Myles told the court that Martin had only one useful hand as his left arm had been crushed in an accident. Myles said Martin had claimed that his good hand was getting mashed up at work and he wanted a glove to protect it, but farm workers were not issued gloves by the prison. Myles confirmed that Martin was known as the ‘one armed bandit’ in the prison.

Myles, who was visibly angry as a gave his testimony, declared that he thought Martin was evil and couldn’t believe he “had done these things", said he had seen Martin in different pants that were baggy on him on the day following Sabrina’s murder and how he had seen him washing his shoes in a garbage pail.

Testimony also came from Officer Simpson, who is second in command of prison security at HMP Northward, who told the prosecution’s counsel, Cheryl Richards, that according to prison records Sabrina Schirn had visited Randy Martin at the prison four times during February and May of 2008. However, during cross examination by the defencejunior counsel, Adam King, it became clear that the prison records were incomplete and inaccurate and that the security regarding visitors was almost non-existent.

Simpson told the court that visitors were not routinely asked for ID and older people especially were simply allowed into the prison if they came and said they were visiting a prisoner and their name was on the prisoner’s list. Simpson also agreed that officers had filled in the visitor records incorrectly and had often put information about comings and goings in the wrong boxes. King questioned the witness and suggested that the errors on the visitor record made it confusing and unclear who had visited who and when. When asked, Officer Simpson was also unable to explain how Martin’s visitor records had come to have a photocopied sheet with visitor names on it stapled to the original sheet or who had copied what appeared to be a new record.

When pressed by King to explain how he could possibly know it was Schirn when the records showed she had two different visitor numbers among other issues, Simpson was unable to explain. King asked if another woman was in fact the person who had visited Martin on those dates, and while Simpson insisted it was Schirn, he could not tell the court how he knew. King asked about CCTV footage of visitors coming to the prison and if it was kept and stored. Simpson said he believed it was and agreed to find and bring the footage to court on the days he stated Schirn had allegedly visited Martin.

The trial of Martin continues on Monday in court one before Justice Charles Quin.

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  1. Beach Bum says:

    As a parent it is very difficult to accept the cruel and inhumane way that this beautiful girl was murdered. No matter what she may have done in life she did not deserve to die this way!  I am only sorry that we no longer have the death sentence in Cayman. If ever there was a case for capital punishment we have it here and yet again with Estella Scott’s killers. I hope the person responsible is held accountable. I also hope that Sabrina’s parents and family somehow find peace.