Martin: I didn’t know Schirn

| 14/12/2009

Cayman Islands news(CNS): The officer who took a statement from Randy Martin at the beginning of the police enquiry into the murder of Sabrina Schirn told the court on Friday that the defendant had said he did not know the murdered girl. DI Lauriston Burton told how Martin had volunteered a police statement before he was a suspect in which he stated he had not left the prison farm on 11 March, the day that Schirn is believed to have been murdered, and that he had not met Schirn. However, Burton also revealed that, following his statement, Martin had told the detective that he thought the police would be coming back for him.

Burton told the court how he had asked him to clarify the comment, but he said Martin simply said, “When you do your investigations, you’ll come back to talk to me.”

Giving evidence during Martin’s trial on Friday, Burton, who was the second highest officer on the murder investigation, explained how he and other RCIPS officers had visited Northward Prison a few days after Schirn’s body was found to speak with all of the prisoners working on the farm the day they believed she was killed. He said they had asked the prisoners to cooperate and told them they would be searching their cells.

Burton said Martin was also searched and interviewed by the police but he was not a specific suspect at that time. Following the first cell search, Martin had volunteered a statement regarding his movements on the day in question, Burton confirmed.

Reading Martin’s statement to the court, Burton said he had spoken about working on the farm because he had shown good behaviour at the prison, and how on that day he had worked the tomato and pepper patches, which were near the front of the farm. He said he was under supervision most of the day and that he was not allowed to receive visitors. In his statement, however, Martin confessed that he had been caught by two prison officer smoking weed at the bottom of the cow patch, where he said he had some of the drug hidden since the month before.  He recounted how the officers had then sent him back to the prison farm house while they searched the area for more drugs, but they didn’t find any.

He said how, in the few days since the body was found, the prisoners had been talking about the murdered girl and he heard that she was once the girlfriend of one of the inmates in Eagle House, where he was being housed, and he said he heard she was dealing with Patrick McField and his nephew Lance Myles. But he said in his statement, “… I have never met her…”

Burton revealed as the investigation progressed and items found, forensic matches led them back to Martin. He said the inmate became an official suspect on 2 April and it was then that a full search of Martin’s cell was conducted. He said among the items that the officers found in Martin’s cell were numerous newspaper clippings, including four or five regarding Schirn’s murder, a lock of hair which was wrapped in paper with the name ‘Sabrina Shurn’ (spelt incorrectly) written on it, a pair of women’s gold earrings and various notebooks and journals. Burton confirmed that the items were seized and taken into evidence.

When Martin was arrested on suspicion of murder, Burton confirmed that he had legal representation and exercised his right to silence.

Following the evidence from Burton, Martin’s defence team, David Evans QC and junior counsel Adam King, explained that they would not cross examine him until after they had the opportunity to read more of the material, which they said had only been recently disclosed to them, and until they had cross examined two key witnesses that have been summoned by the judge, Justice Charles Quin, who are expected to come before the court on Monday morning.

Former Detective Kim Evans, who was the senior investigating officer on the case but who has since retired from the RCIPS, has not yet been called to the court to give evidence.  

The case continues on Monday morning, when Lance Myles, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence in Northward for attempted murder and who has been summoned by the judge, will take the witness stand.

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