Men accused of axe murder over chihuahua pups had injuries on hands and heads, court hears

Two men accused of an axe murder during a row over chihuahua pups had injuries to their hands and heads following the fatal fight, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Wayne Cluskey, 25, and Josh Turner, 24, both of Mooretown, Ratoath, Co Meath have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 27-year-old Christopher Nevin at Tailteann Road, Navan on November 19, 2015.

Dr Thomas Ravenscroft told prosecuting counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that he examined the two accused men on November 23, four days after Mr Nevin died. His examination of Mr Cluskey revealed a cut to the top of his head and lacerations to both hands and wrists with bruises and cuts to both shoulders.

Josh Turner had lacerations on both hands and a small cut on the top of his head. Dr Ravenscroft also discovered scratch marks on his right shoulder. He said all the injuries looked to be about four days old.

Joeseph Casserly told Mr O'Higgins that he lived at the house on Tailteann Road where the fight broke out. His son Wayne was a close friend of the deceased and knew the other two men well. All of them shared interests in dogs and hunting.

The trial has previously heard that Christopher Nevin borrowed a male chihuahua from Josh Turner to breed with his three female chihuahuas. The dispute arose when only one of the dogs got pregnant.

Joeseph Casserly said he had been sleeping on the afternoon of November 19, 2015 but was woken up by a "screech" from outside. When he went out he saw Christopher Nevin lying on the ground between two cars. When he saw the injuries to Mr Nevin he said: "Is he dead, is he dead?" and his son told him that an ambulance was on the way.

In court Mr Casserly identified a green and black hatchet which his son has previously identified as the one that Christopher Nevin picked up when he confronted the two accused men. Mr Casserly said the hatchet had belonged to him. He had left it beside the front door the night before but it was missing following the fight.

Later that day, after Mr Nevin had been taken to hospital and pronounced dead, Mr Casserly said he received a phone call from Wayne Cluskey. He said Mr Cluskey told him: "Joe, what happened had nothing to do with you or your family."

Mr Casserly added: "I said to him, "yous are going to be up for murder," and he says, "no, no, no manslaughter"."

He said Mr Cluskey then told him that he had the green and black hatchet.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of nine men and three women.

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