The trial commenced at the High Court, now located temporarily at the Sakal Building on Tuesday, May 19 2021.
Director of the Public Prosecution Mrs. Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit is the lead prosecutor on the case, with Crown Counsel Kristian Johnson rendering his assistance.
Senior Attorney Mrs. Valerie Gordon is representing Martin, who is currently on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
On day one of the trial, Head of the Crime Scene Unit Detective Sgt. Michelle Etienne, Assistant Administrator at the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Jamal Osborne and Detective Constable Kelleon London, testified.
Etienne said on August 10, 2018, he visited the scene at 8.35 pm, 20 minutes after getting information on the fatal shooting. He told the court that he saw the body of a black male on the pavement dressed in black pants, a white shirt and red underwear, lying on his stomach with what appeared to be blood protruding from a single bullet wound from the back of his head.
He said a doctor later came to the scene and pronounced Castro dead; he was later transported to the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital.
He informed that he took 113 photos of the scene and collected the sole spent shell casing of a 9 mm firearm.
The photos he captured were later placed on DVD’s, and the casings and swabs were delivered to the officer responsible for crime scene evidence. He later presented some of the photos and the sole casing to the court.
Osborne took the stand next. He told the court that his role was to assist in extracting CCTV footage from a private residence in Johnson’s Ghut, facing the Sunrise Bakery.
He however only searched for the dates that he was given and the timeframe, but he did not examine the said footage.
Detective Constable London was the third witness for the day, and he told the court that he was tasked to get footage from Delta Petroleum and the National Bank, making a record of the defendant’s movements.
“I was able to identify the defendant on the CCTV camera because I was familiar with him before,” London said, adding that he knew him from the bank where they would interact on banking-related matters. He would also spot him on the street from time to time, he said.
During the first appearance of the matter in 2018, prosecutors said eyewitness reports, CCTV footage placing him near to the crime scene, as well as his family discrediting his alibi were some of the dots connecting Martin to the crime.
The trial continues.