'It makes it look like we made it our business to kill him' - murder accused's reaction to CCTV footage of chihuahua row
A murder accused told gardai he was "shocked" when shown CCTV footage of the fight that led to the alleged victim's death and added: "Looking at that, it makes it look like we made it our business to kill him."
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.
Garda Michael Fitzpatrick told prosecuting counsel Michael O'Higgins SC he was present for interviews with Wayne Cluskey on November 23 and 24 after Mr Cluskey went voluntarily to Navan Garda Station.
He said that during those interviews gardai showed Mr Cluskey CCTV footage taken from a house across the road from where Mr Nevin suffered the blows that caused his death.
Identifying himself in the footage, Mr Cluskey said:"Looking at that, it makes it look like we made it our business to kill him."
He added: "I didn't think it happened like that. I didn't realise he got so many blows."
During the garda interviews Mr Cluskey said the background to the fight was that Christopher Nevin owed Josh Turner €100.
He said Josh had loaned Nevin a male chihuahua to breed with three female chihuahuas.
The trial has previously heard that a dispute arose when only one of the dogs got pregnant.
On November 19 he said Mr Turner told him that Christopher Nevin had his money and he was going to collect it. He said Christopher Nevin was their friend and as far as he knew, they were just going to collect the money.
They arranged to meet at the house of a mutual friend, Wayne Casserly.
When they arrived Josh knocked at a window and Mr Nevin called out, saying: "Hold on 'til I put my runners on."
He went on: "He just bent down and then he had the hatchet."
Mr Cluskey initially said that he got involved in the row after seeing Mr Nevin strike Josh Turner with the hatchet. Having viewed the CCTV he told gardai that Mr Nevin had a hatchet in his hand when he emerged from the house but he accepted that the deceased did not strike the first blow.
Mr Cluskey's barrister Shane Costelloe SC said his client accepts that he attacked Mr Nevin first and that he took an axe from his car before entering the fight. Garda Fitzpatrick agreed with Mr Costelloe that the axe that Mr Cluskey took from the car can later be seen in the hands of Josh Turner.
Garda Fitzpatrick further agreed that Mr Cluskey told gardai that it was Josh Turner who struck the "fatal blow".
Mr Cluskey added: "I don't mean he meant to kill him. He didn't know how hard he was hitting him."
The interview was then interrupted as Mr Cluskey began to cry.
Afterwards he said: "It wasn't supposed to happen like that," and later said: "I'm sorry the way it went."
He admitted to telling "white lies" and that having seen the CCTV he realised "it wasn't the way I thought it was".
The prosecution finished its evidence today. The trial will continue tomorrow in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of nine men and three women.