Model's former boyfriend shot himself in head, coroner rules
Published 13/01/2010 | 05:00
The former boyfriend of a model who is dating the lead singer of Irish band The Script shot himself in the head, a coroner ruled yesterday.
The family of the martial arts and cage fighting obsessed Lithuanian had maintained he had been murdered, but an inquest heard he killed himself.
An inquest into the death of Marius Simanaitis (28) -- the former lover of Irma Mali and father of her six-year-old daughter -- recorded a verdict of suicide from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Ms Mali is dating Danny O'Donoghue, the lead singer of the The Script .
A request for an adjournment of the inquest was denied by the Dublin County Coroner yesterday after gardai raised fears that witnesses' lives were at risk.
They revealed their Lithuanian counterparts had uncovered a number of threats to the witnesses involved in the cage fighter and martial arts expert's case.
It is understood that the dead man may have had links to organised criminals in his native country of Lithuania.
The jury returned a verdict of suicide after witnesses told how Mr Simanaitis had shot himself in the head at his apartment off the Navan Road, north Dublin, in March last year.
His brother, Donatas, and Ms Mali have previously raised serious doubts that Mr Simanaitis shot himself, saying he was too devoted to his daughter Nikoleta.
"There is more to my brother's death than meets the eye and I will not rest until I find out what happened and who was involved," Donatas said.
Ms Mali admitted confusion over the circumstances of Mr Simanaitis's death also and said she didn't believe he had engaged in "anything unsavoury".
Yesterday, Donotas's solicitor Rody Kelly Corrigan said his client had been "deeply affected" by his brother's death and requested the adjournment of the inquest so that he may attend.
But Superintendent John Quirke, of Clondalkin garda station, who was conducting an investigation under the supervision of the garda ombudsman, told the coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty it was his belief that an adjournment would put the lives of the witnesses at risk.
"If I adjourn the inquest, it might increase the risk. This is an inquiry, not a criminal trial. I can't put the lives of these witnesses at risk. I'll have to proceed today," Dr Geraghty said.
Gardai carried out an extensive investigation into the death of Mr Simanaitis and concluded that it was not suspicious.
Witnesses at the inquest yesterday told how Mr Simanaitis had been talking about his daughter "with his head in his hands" on the night he died.
Witness Lukas Tiskevicius told how he was in the room, drifting off to sleep, when Mr Simanaitis shot himself in the head.
They had been having drinks at Mr Simanaitis's home earlier in the evening and he was staying the night there along with friends, Jurgita Balsiukeviciute and Vilius Muznikas.
Ms Balsiukeviciute revealed that she had become distressed earlier in the night when Mr Simanaitis produced the gun, which had a silencer attached to it, as well as a crossbow, and began playing with them.
She said she was upstairs asleep with her boyfriend, Mr Muznikas, when Mr Simanaitis shot himself but she did not hear it.
She was awoken by Mr Tiskevicius, who she described as being in a "state of panic and shock", and he told her that Mr Simanaitis had shot himself.
At the conclusion of the inquest, all three witnesses declined to comment on the revelations that they had received death threats.