Man found guilty of best friend Jamie Lindsay's murder
A man will be sentenced to life in prison later for the murder of his best friend in Co. Kildare last year.
Darren Wynne (21) of Ballyroe, Athy, Co. Kildare had pleaded not guilty to murdering Jamie Lindsay (20) at Coney Green, Coneyboro, Athy on April 6, 2013.
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.
Today the jury of eight men and four women returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder after almost five hours of deliberation.
Wynne was also convicted of possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition with intent to endanger life on the same occasion.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan thanked the jury and adjourned sentencing until July 22 next.
Two other men who were being tried for the murder alongside Wynne pleaded guilty to manslaughter during the trial and will also be sentenced on that date.
It was 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.
The court heard that Mr Lindsay was shot in the right eye at almost point blank range at the Coneyboro estate.
Wynne told gardai that Mr Lindsay was threatening him over €1000 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 only wanted to kneecap him and did not mean to kill him.
Counsel for Wynne raised the defence of provocation and also said that the gun used was capable of accidental discharge.
Jodie Browne (22) told Mr Paul Coffey SC prosecuting she and Monaghan, who were in the early stages of a relationship, met Wynne and Seery at a graveyard that day.
Ms Browne testified that Wynne had a gun and Monaghan said he wanted to buy it.
She said Wynne came back to the car with an old brown the gun and they went to a forest where Mr Monaghan was shooting at trees.
She told the court they drove to the Coneyboro estate and they were going to give ‘Marley’ a scare.
“They’d shoot the wall and scare him,” she said.
She testified Wynne “said he’d kneecap him”.
Ms Browne said Seery sent a text and they saw ‘Marley’ appear down the alley.
“Darren shot him…he was right in front of him,” she said.
“He (Wynne) said ‘I only shot him in the shoulder,” 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.
P.J. 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 told the court.
The witness testified they later walked up to a garage and Wynne told him he shot ‘Marley’.
“He just said he got too big for his boots, ‘it was either him or me’,” he said.
Mr Hickey said Wynne got a bottle of Dettol in the garage and said he had to wash the gunpowder off him.
The witness said when he met Wynne the next day he was distant and not himself.
“He seemed a bit distant like, he wasn’t himself at all…he was after shooting his best friend in the face,” said Mr Hickey.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head.
The pathologist said the right eye was completely destroyed and there were extensive fractures to the skull.
The pathologist said there was evidence the shot was discharged from a couple of feet or so.