A prosecutor told his trial, while being investigated for her killing two years ago, Daniel McDonnell wrote on his cell wall: “Two in the head. Your bitch is dead.”
Mr McDonnell, of Brookview Lawns, Tallaght, went on trial at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, charged with murdering the teen. She was shot in the head as she sat in the back seat of a car at Brookview Way in Tallaght.
The 19-year-old has pleaded not guilty to her murder on Feb 8, 2012.
Brendan Grehan SC, prosecuting, said the prosecution case against Mr McDonnell revolved around the interpretation of what he wrote on his cell wall, along with the contents of two letters he handed to a prison officer for posting weeks later.
“The written utterances of Daniel McDonnell are not very savoury,” he warned the jury. “They’re boastful and bragging. That’s a factor that adds to the potency in terms of their evidential value.”
The accused was arrested about a week after the shooting and was detained for a number of days at Tallaght Garda Station, where he occupied a cell alone.
Mr Grehan said gardaí noticed pieces of graffiti written on his cell wall, including his name, initials, and references that the prosecution says could refer only to Melanie’s murder.
They included “Moran scummy knacker” and “Moran Scum”, which the prosecution says refer to Ms McNamara’s boyfriend, Christopher Moran, who was sitting in front of Melanie when she was shot.
Mr Grehan said the scene then moved to St Patrick’s Institution, the prison to which the accused was brought on Feb 21. Mr Grehan said on Mar 5, the accused presented a prison officer with two letters to be posted. They were in envelopes but not sealed and the prison officer read them before passing them onto his superior. They were then passed to the gardaí.
The prosecutor read extracts, first from a letter addressed to Lee McDonnell.
“Keep running all them up onto protection because this war ain’t stopping. Take my word for it. Close-range head shots. That’s what I’m going for. If I get High Court bail I swear on my whole family, them four will be in the ground. I ran CM with his head up his arse,” read Mr Grehan.
“Two in the head. The bitch is dead. The silly mother fuck pulled out a hammer. Little did he know I had a loaded 12-guage. Left his bitch all over the Sunday World front page. I’ll never forget that mug. Ha ha. The best night of my life.”
The second letter was addressed to Stephanie Tuite, who appeared to be a former girlfriend of the accused. “I never thought it would turn out like this. I feel like a scum bag. I don’t feel it. I am one. I don’t know what got into my head,” he read. “That weed shit fucked me up.”
“That other thing wouldn’t have happened if I had known she was in the car. It was meant for the other smell bag. He won’t get away with bullying my Ma. What goes around fucking comes around.”
The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six men and six women.