Four-month murder trial nears conclusion

Four-month murder trial nears conclusion

Lawyers for three Dubliners charged with murdering a dissident republican will begin giving their closing submissions on Monday following an almost four-month trial.

Peter Butterly was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath on the afternoon of March 6, 2013.

Three men have been on trial since September at the non-jury Special Criminal Court, charged with his murder.

Dean Evans (aged 24) of Grange Park Rise, Raheny; Edward McGrath (aged 33) of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght; and Sharif Kelly (aged 44) of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan have pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old father of two.

Evans and McGrath have also pleaded not guilty to firearm offences on the same occasion.

A fourth man, David Cullen (aged 30), with a last address in Balbriggan, was allegedly “part of the murder plan himself” but turned State's witness against his former co-accused last year.

Cullen gave evidence implicating the three men in November. There was tight security for each day of his evidence and cross examination, leading to long queues outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.

The trial heard that Mr Butterly was “lured” to the car park of the Huntsman Inn by another man not before the court around 2pm on March 6, 2013.

A Toyota Corolla was seen entering the car park and, within minutes, shots were fired at Mr Butterly's vehicle. Further shots were discharged when he got out of his car and attempted to flee.

He was found by a lone garda collapsed in a corner of the car park and was pronounced dead a short time later.

The State closed its case on Thursday and the court spent this afternoon outlining its reasons for ruling that certain evidence was admissible.

This evidence included Cullen’s testimony. It also included clothing, fingerprints and forensic samples taken from Evans and McGrath following their arrest.

All sides now have an opportunity to make submissions to the three-judge court.

This will begin on Monday before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy, Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and Judge Cormac Dunne.


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