Lukasz Rzeszutko, described as “a model employee”, was found with catastrophic head injuries in the Newtown Industrial Estate, Coolock, on Oct 2, 2010.
Martin Morgan, aged 20, of Tonlegee Rd, Raheny, and Stephen Byrne, aged 18, of St Donagh’s Rd, Donaghmede, went on trial this week charged with his murder. They had both pleaded not guilty to the crime, but changed their pleas at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.
No evidence was heard in the case yesterday and Mr Justice Barry White called the jury in shortly after 12pm. He told the seven women and five men the defence had requested their clients be re-arraigned.
Byrne then pleaded not guilty to Mr Rzeszutko’s murder but guilty to his manslaughter. Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, said this plea was acceptable to the State.
Mr Morgan also pleaded not guilty to Mr Rzeszutko’s murder but guilty to his manslaughter. However, Ms Donnelly said this was not acceptable to the State.
The judge explained to the jury that Mr Byrne would no longer be part of the trial, which will proceed against Mr Morgan.
“Mr Morgan has admitted to an unlawful killing of the deceased,” he said, giving the definition of murder.
He said the issue in his case would now relate to his frame of mind at the time of the killing.
The change of pleas follows two days of evidence in the case, in which the jury heard about the “vicious” attack outside the factory where the victim worked with his two brothers.
The jury also heard of the “unsurvivable” injuries Mr Rzeszutko sustained, which led to his death in hospital two days later.
The last evidence shown to the jury before the change of pleas was CCTV footage taken at the time of the attack.
Byrne was remanded on continuing bail for sentencing later this month and the trial against Mr Morgan will continue on Monday.