Tuesday 21 November 2017

Jury finds man (52) guilty of murder with axe

Marius Gaizutis
Marius Gaizutis

Alison O'Riordan

A man faces life in jail after being found guilty of murdering another man with an axe.

Marius Gaizutis (52) of Marsh Road, Drogheda, Co Louth was charged with murdering Audrius Butkus (44) at that address on September 9 or 10, 2013.

Gaizutis pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter when he was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court over a week ago.

This was not acceptable to the State and a jury was sworn in to try him.

The Central Criminal Court jury made up of four women and eight men yesterday found Mr Gaizutis guilty of the charge by unanimous verdict after deliberating for two hours and 40 minutes.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan thanked the jury members for the important work they did and exempted them from jury service for the next 20 years.

Mr Butkus's body was discovered face down in the sand on Mornington Beach.

During the trial, prosecution counsel Patrick Gageby SC said that it was very clear from the post-mortem performed by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy that he was the "victim of a very serious assault by an axe which broke his skull in a number of cases".

He added: "The majority of the blows to the back of his head were done when the deceased was on the ground, defenceless.

"It is beyond argument that taking a hatchet like this to a man and attacking him to his body shows at a minimum an intention to cause serious injury and an intent to kill.

"It is beyond doubt that Mr Gaizutis killed Mr Butkus by battering him to death with a hatchet."

Mr Gageby then told the jury how there were blood stains everywhere at the accused man's house at Marsh Road.

Irish Independent

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