Schirn murder verdict sticks

| 20/08/2010

(CNS): The appeal made by Randy Martin against his conviction for the murder of Sabrina Schirn has failed and the guilty verdict will stand. The appeal was argued by his attorney Adam King on two grounds, firstly that the judge in Martin’s trial had not given proper consideration of evidence that someone else could have committed the crime and secondly that he misinterpreted evidence of a witness. After a full day of submissions by King and the solicitor general Cheryl Richards QC, the president of the CICA Sir John Chadwick said the panel was satisfied that the appeal should be dismissed and they would reveal their reasons in writing at a later date.

Martin was convicted of murdering Schirn in January 2010 in a judge alone trial in front of Justice Charles Quin. King submitted to the appeal court the argument that the judge had not fully considered in his ruling the material put before him that there was a possibility that the murder had been committed by Lance Myles. King said that in a 62 page judgment he had given only some twelve lines over to the question of Myles, which had played a significant part in the trial, and had not explained his reasons for dismissing the evidence if that was what he had done.

King claimed on behalf of the appellant that the judge had not explained his position on the material that showed Myles had motive because of threatening phone calls, had opportunity because there was an empty window in his cell communication around the time of the murder and that he had given a false alibi. Given what he said was the weight of the evidence that Myles could have been responsible for Schirn’s murder, King argued the judge should have made it clear exactly why he had dismissed that evidence when he found Martin guilty.

The attorney suggested that the trial judge had ‘fudged the issue’ as it could have presented a minefield for him if he could see a possibility that Myles might have been at the scene. “the evidence was too substantial for him to have ignored it” King told the appeal court, suggesting that he had deliberately avoided dealing with it.

The second ground King put forward was that the judge had said a witness that he had relied upon had given evidence that the man he saw getting into a car near the prison farm on the morning of Schirn’s murder might have been lighter skinned than the defendant. However, King pointed out that the witness had never used the word “might’ and on the stand he had indicated clearly that the man he saw had lighter skin than Randy Martin. King suggested this misuse of language had implications that the judge had misinterpreted evidence.

In her response to the appeal Richards noted that the judge had considered the material regarding Myles and made it clear that he had dismissed it. She also argued the evidence put forward by the defence that Myles could have committed the crime was far from significant and not in the least bit probative.

During their line of questioning the appeal court judges also suggested that the material supporting the Myles theory was very speculative and could be seen as becoming “further and further fetched” as they pointed to various flaws in Kings theory. Judge Dr A O Conteh noted that for the appellant’s theory to work Randy Martin must have been at the scene and witnessed his nephew commit the crime if indeed it was true, but at no time had Martin made that direct accusation in any statements or on the stand.

The judge said that the defence had chosen to make a case based on pointing the finger at Myles but he had never actually said “my nephew did it”.

King pointed out that Martin’s position was indeed that when he left Schirn she was alive and that he did not know who had committed the murder.

Following the decision King said it was too early to say if he would be taking the case to the Privy Council but confirmed that once the human rights act came into force Martin would be seeking to have the mandatory life sentence re-considered.

Following the decision by the court to allow the appeal of William McLaughlin Martinez on Tuesday sending it back to the Grand Court for a retrial, this dismissal is likely to come as a relief to the prosecution, however, the solicitor general made no comment on the decision.

The badly decomposed body of Sabrina Schirn was found a week after she was reported missing in the wilderness close to the former prison farm at High Rock in East End. She had likely been murdered with a machete or similar sharp blunt instrument however, no murder weapon was ever recovered. Martin was arrested shortly after following the discovery of forensic evidence linking him to the scene and to the murder victim.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God his appeal was dismissed! I mean I would not have expected any different. Why does government spend money, time & energy on these scumbags? I hope we are not getting Taxed for this.They are where they belong and everyone knows it even their lawyers! What they should be working on is God’s forgivness & not trying to point fingers and lie their way out. As far as I see it more than Martin should be serving time for Sabrina but like the previous poster put it – God dont sleep nor slumber! My heart went out to Brian Rankin & Sabrina. What wickedness these two endured. I could never imagine the fear, torment and pain that they felt. BUT their killers know! They saw their pain and frear yet they repeatidly chopped them up like they were nothing. XXXX

  2. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P <3 <3 Bina memories live on <3 <3

  3. West Staines Massive says:

    his attorney King confirmed that "…once the human rights act came into force Martin would be seeking to have the mandatory life sentence re-considered"

    how much more money and time and energy and effort are we really going to put into these criminals?

    What about Sabrina’s human rights? are they even going to be a factor or consideration.

    This is so ridiculous and pathetic and WRONG.

    Victims have no rights or help. Criminals do.

  4. Quinton Smith says:

    A good decision.

    If you can lie to yourself, you can lie to anyone. Indeed, God does not slumber, and the day that the justice system becomes unjust will be a sad day for us all.

  5. Ex Caymanian & Not by Choice and a West Bayer at THAT says:

    He really had the NERVE????