Murderer apologises to victim's family as he receives life sentence
A 27-year-old man who pleaded guilty to murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly has apologised to his victim's family, saying he made decisions as a younger man he would not make today.
Dean Evans (27), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin, received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment at the Special Criminal Court for the murder of Peter Butterly (35), who was shot dead outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanstown, Co Meath, in March 2013.
Detective Sergeant Liam Archbold told the three-judge court Evans was the shooter who gunned Mr Butterly down in the pub car park after a planned operation.
The victim's widow, Eithne Butterly, wrote a statement which was read by her sister Deirdre Healy. Addressing Evans, she said he has no concept of the pain, suffering and deep trauma the Butterly family has endured. She asked if her husband's murderer had taken a second to try to imagine the pain he would cause or what it would be like to have to tell his victim's three children what happened to their father.
Hugh Hartnett SC, for Evans, said his client is truly remorseful and wishes to apologise to his victim's family for the pain and suffering he caused them. In a letter to the court, Mr Hartnett said Evans expressed his regret and added that he made decisions when he was a younger man that he would not make today or in the future.
Describing the operation that led to Evans's arrest and conviction, Det Sgt Archbold said gardaí were monitoring a silver Toyota the day before the shooting and noted it had travelled to Balbriggan.
Mr Butterly, who lived in Dunleer, Co Louth, and represented his county in football, had arranged to meet someone in the car park of the Huntsman Inn the following day. He arrived at about 1.55pm and at 2.06pm the Toyota Corolla drove in and trapped Mr Butterly's car. Evans fired two shots which struck the bonnet and windscreen of Mr Butterly's car. With his car unable to get out, Mr Butterly tried to escape on foot but was shot three times by Evans and died of his wounds.
Gardaí were already nearby and arrested Evans and others believed to have been involved. Evans is the third person to receive a life sentence for the murder.