Man gets 11 years for home invasion

| 01/12/2016 | 21 Comments

(CNS): William David McLaughlin Martinez (39) was sentenced to 11 years in jail Thursday, immediately after a jury found him guilty of robbery in relation to a brutal home invasion in North Side in January. The local man admitted being the lookout in what he claimed was meant to be a burglary at an empty house in the same area, but he said he was “taken by surprise” when his accomplice entered an occupied home and held up an elderly couple and their helper at knifepoint.

Although he denied robbery, the jury convicted him based on the crown’s case that Martinez knew full well his accomplice intended to commit an armed robbery and he was equally as culpable as the man who wielded the knife. Martinez was charged and tried entirely on his own evidence. But despite giving details to the police about the man he identified as “Boom” who invaded the visiting elderly residents’ Rum Point home and put the couple and their carer through a terrifying 30-minute ordeal, no one else was ever charged in the case.

Prosecutors had accepted that Martinez was not the man who had donned a balaclava and entered the couple’s house in the early evening of 11 January 2016 armed with a knife, putting the victims through a terrifying experience. But he was the lookout man who was aware of the intentions of his partner in crime, the crown said. He had shared in the takings and watched as his co-conspirator held the helper by the hair and, with a knife to her throat, had dragged her around the house demanding money and valuables, threatening to kill them all.

Martinez and his conspirator made off with over $5,000 in cash and some $35,000 in valuables, including electronics and jewellery, which was not just financially valuable but had significant sentimental value as well.

As she handed down the hefty term, Justice Dame Linda Dobbs described the crime as “a nasty robbery” against the vulnerable, disabled and elderly couple and their carer. While Martinez was not the armed masked man, he had watched the entire event, despite his claims that he was assisting in what he believed was a burglary at a different house.

The judge pointed to the seriousness of the offence, which she said was aggravated by the fact that Martinez had worked at the property, as he is a part-time plumber, and knew there were rich pickings to be had. Justice Dobbs also pointed out that by his own admission he had agreed to assist the man he called “Boom” in his desire to break into homes with high value goods to pay him back for a cocaine debt.

Martinez was arrested for drug possession in a separate case but police found cash and items linked to the Rum Point robbery on him. At first McLaughlin denied any knowledge of the crime but he later told them that he had ‘cased the house’ on behalf of “Boom”, who he said had intended to break into the property if it was empty or a different one nearby if it wasn’t. He said he was completely “taken by surprise” when he took out the mask and went into the house with the people in it.

After Martinez had described his co-conspirator “Boom” and the van he drove, the police arrested another local man and found a pendent worth several thousand dollars that had been taken in the robbery in his van, but he was never charged. There was no indication from prosecutors why no charges were brought against him, despite having the stolen goods in his possession.

Martinez was sentenced based on relatively new guidelines from the chief justice regarding this type of robbery. Despite having no actual convictions for violence, Martinez is no stranger to the criminal justice system. In addition to  a number of drug offences, he was also convicted but acquitted on appeal twice for the murder of 20-year-old Brian Rankine in May 2008.

Martinez was one of two men who could have have killed Rankine in what was a particularly brutal attack when the young man was struck more than 40 times with a machete and what prosecutors believed was an ice pick.

Martinez and his work colleague at the time, Jason Hinds, were arrested soon after Rankine’s naked and almost decapitated body was found in McField Square in George Town. The two men had given Rankine a ride from East End and Hinds had testified that Martinez had attacked Rankine following a drug deal that had gone wrong. Hinds was charged as an accessory but not with murder.

Martinez, who had not testified, was convicted on Hinds’ account but the conviction was quashed on appeal over a jury misdirection and he was tried a second time. In the second trial Martinez claimed it was Hinds, not him, that killed Rankine but he was convicted again. However, less than a year later the Court of Appeal pointed to another misdirection by the second trial judge based on the problem of Hinds’ evidence.

While both men were present at Rankine’s murder, the crown had opted not to charge them in a joint enterprise, even though it was never clear which of them, or if indeed both of them, had killed Rankine. The appeal court, however, ordered that Martinez should not stand trial for a third time.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I was one of the jury at the time of his murder trial and we found him guilty as all evidence lead that he was up close and personal to Mr. Rankin at the time of his death..blood spatter dont lie…and now to read it is the same person who did the robbery…a life of crime it seems that McLaughlin-Martinez is just always up to no good…..OMG he should have got life with no possibility of parole

  2. Veritas says:

    I strongly suspect they convicted the right man and “Boom” was a bust who never existed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Eleven years? Seriously? Add another ten years and we’d all begin feeling justice had been served, I’d wager.

  4. Just Watchin says:

    While it is difficult to do, I will give the Court of Appeal the benefit of the doubt in turning this menace loose so he could end up doing what he has now been convicted of doing. I just hope that if he ends up before them again, they don’t try to shield him from the consequences of his behaviour a third time. I couldn’t accept that.
    But I need to hear urgently from the Commissioner of Police, Lady Helen, the Minister of Home Affairs that funds the RCIPS or the National Security Council which existed once upon a time as to why the RCIPS finds stolen property in a vehicle and no one is charged. This is a serious matter. Silence by those in authority is not acceptable.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lest we forget the victims, their house is now for sale. This lovely couple built this home in 1991 and spent many happy years vacationing in North Side. Very sad that it ended as it did.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There should be a new law giving another few years for those who do not reveal their partners in crime.

  7. Anonymous says:

    :Boom” is investigated and when they investigate they find a pendant worth thousands of dollars in his van!! Wait, what? They didn’t charge him with receiving stolen property, the armed robbery crime, or anything? he either knows someone OR he ratted on others. The beautiful Grand Cayman sure has changed, and not for the better. If they keep getting away with these crimes, the crimes WILL continue!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is why we need the right to bear arms in our own homes. You don’t have to use it, but if you have to. It’s there, and it lets other would be robbers rethink if breaking into a home is worth your life.

    Imagine getting broken into, and the burglars stab or kill you by other means. Those that have this happen are the persons who were against home protection, before the incident. Usually loud and vocal about “no guns”. Until that is, at that moment they are about to die, and now are thinking how wrong that train of thought was.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go back to the US please-all the guns you want there. This is a British Island, we don’t do guns and our crime rate is a lot lower than those countries that allow guns

    • Anonymous says:

      U idiot this is not America where u have the right to bear arms that’s why America is known as the most hostile place in the world because of no gun control for Christ sake u can’t even go to the movies r a dinner outlet with out wondering if the place is going to be shot up by some deranged ex employee,u allow that to happen here on this small island then the burglars will be coming for ur lives instead,so try think before u speak dummy

      • Anonymous says:

        As an American, I agree.

      • Anonymous says:

        @6:28am – you must be a graduate from one of our great Government educations schools. I have reached this conclusion based on the lack of any punctuation in your comment.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’d like to put a punchuation in ur comment punk

        • MM says:

          “Government educations schools”… seriously? Please refrain from your sad attempt to discredit this commentor’s grasp of the English written language.

  9. Wait, What? says:

    WTF, am I reading correctly? This was the same guy that was convicted for murder but yet somehow appeals his way out of prison to be able to murder or “assist with murder” once again?? This is ridiculous. And now he “assists” with robbery, against these poor defenseless elders that he work for, and he somehow “thought it was a different house? LOL wow.. and mind you, this Boom is inside telling everyone he will kill them, knife to the helpers throat and the one actually committing this crime (says the culprit) yet he is never located? named? charged? with anything? Come on Cayman Court/Justice System. Geez.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can someone tell me whe this boom pshyco was not charged.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Boom” must have friends in high places.

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