Man denies clothes found in car were intended for killer

Man denies clothes found in car were intended for killer

A man on trial, charged with murdering a dissident republican, has today denied that clothes found in his car shortly after the shooting were a change of clothing for the killer.

He also said that he was stopped near the scene afterwards because his car had mechanical difficulties.

The trial relates to the death of Peter Butterly, who was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath around 2pm on March 6, 2013.

Three Dublin men are on trial 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.

The court today watched video of part of a garda interview with Sharif Kelly following his arrest that day on Flemington Road.

He told gardaí that he had been driving from tending to his horse on Tubersool Lane, when his engine management light came on.

He said his car then "conked" before he reached Flemington Road. He said that he got out, fiddled with wires for a few minutes and managed to restart it.

He said that was when the gardaí approached and arrested him.

The court earlier heard that he denied knowing anything about the murder or following the car used in the murder down Flemington Road. He denied that it was his job to collect his two co-accused that day.

Mr Kelly was also asked about a complete change of clothing found in the boot of his car at the time. He said he didn’t know how it got there and denied that it was a change of clothes for Mr Butterly’s killer.

He said that the duvet cover over the rear seat was there to keep the car clean when collecting hay for his horse and not because he was "forensically aware".

The court had already heard that a forensic scientist examined the clothing found in his boot.

Sandra McGrath testified that the DNA profile on a tracksuit top and bottoms matched that of Dean Evans.

Ms McGrath also examined other items found elsewhere during the investigation. These included a black balaclava, black gloves and a black wig.

She said that a DNA profile matching that of Mr Evans was found on the balaclava and the gloves, while a DNA profile matching Mr McGrath’s was found on the black wig.

The trial is in its 48th day. The prosecution evidence is expected to finish tomorrow before the three-judge court, with Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy presiding.


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