Wednesday 26 November 2014

Man guilty of murdering best friend over €1,000 drugs debt

Niamh O'Donoghue

Published 11/07/2014 | 02:30

Darren Wynne (19), centre, outside Naas District Court in Co Kildare
Darren Wynne (19), centre, outside Naas District Court in Co Kildare
Gardai at the scene of the fatal shooting in Coneyboro estate, Athy, where Jamie Lindsay (inset) was killed

A YOUNG man faces life in jail after shooting his best friend in the eye following a row over €1,000 worth of cannabis.

Darren Wynne (21) was convicted of murdering Jamie Lindsay (20), known as Marley although he claimed he had only wanted to kneecap him.

The trial heard that Mr Lindsay was shot in the right eye at point blank range at Coneyboro estate in Athy on April 6, 2013.

Wynne told gardai that Mr Lindsay was threatening him over €1,000 for cannabis herb that had gone missing.

He said he also threatened to rape his grandmother and burn his house down.

Wynne said he shot Mr Lindsay in the shoulder but did not mean to kill him, the Central Criminal Court heard.

Counsel for Wynne raised the defence of provocation and also said that the gun used was capable of being fired accidentally.

Last Friday Wynne was re-arraigned at the Central Criminal Court and pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

However his trial continued when the court was told the plea was not acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Yesterday the jury of eight men and four women returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder after almost five hours of deliberation.

Wynne, of Ballyroe, Athy, Co Kildare was also convicted of possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition with intent to endanger life on the same occasion.

Two other men tried for the murder alongside Wynne pleaded guilty to manslaughter during the trial. It was the State's case that Quentin Monaghan (21) of Tullamoy, Stradbally, Co Laois and James Seery (21) of Canal Side, Athy were part of a joint enterprise.

Monaghan and Seery were also rearraigned during the trial and pleaded guilty to possession of a sawn-off shotgun and cartridges in suspicious circumstances. The pleas were accepted by the DPP.

Jodie Browne (22) told Mr Paul Coffey SC prosecuting that she and her boyfriend Monaghan met Wynne and Seery at a graveyard that day.

She testified Wynne had a gun and Monaghan said he wanted to buy it.

She said they went to a forest where Monaghan was shooting at trees, before driving to Coneyboro estate and they were going to give Mr Lindsay, known as 'Marley', a scare.

"They'd shoot the wall and scare him," she said, although she also testified that Wynne "said he'd kneecap him".

Ms Browne said they saw 'Marley' appear down the alley. "Darren shot him ... he was right in front of him," she said.

She said Wynne told Monaghan to drive or "he'd do the same to him".

Ms Browne said they drove back to Monaghan's house in Stradbally and Wynne and Seery burnt their clothes. She said Monaghan buried the gun.

PJ Hickey gave evidence that when Wynne called to his house after the incident, he seemed 'panicky' and was beating on the windows and the doors.

"He said, 'let me in, let me in. I need an alibi. I'm after shooting him'," Mr Hickey said and Wynne told him he shot Marley.

Mr Hickey said Wynne got Dettol in the garage to wash the gunpowder off him.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said the right eye was completely destroyed and there were extensive fractures to the skull, and that there was evidence the shot was discharged from a couple of feet.

Sentencing will be on July 22.

Irish Independent

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