Wednesday 13 November 2019

Teenager died quickly from single stab wound - State Pathologist tells murder trial

Dovydas Jenkas (inset) died from a single stab wound, State Pathologist tells murder trial
Dovydas Jenkas (inset) died from a single stab wound, State Pathologist tells murder trial
Dovydas Jenkus (17)

John Fallon

State Pathologist Prof. Marie Cassidy told a murder trial that a 17-year old schoolboy died quickly from a single stab wound after the blade pierced his heart.

Prof. Cassidy said that the blade was at a 45 degree angle when it entered the teenager’s chest, puncturing a lung and piercing the left ventricle of his heart.

Prof. Cassidy was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Castlebar, where a teenager is on trial for murdering Dovydas Jenkas, of Mount Street, Claremorris.

The accused, who was 16 when the incident happened in the early hours of December 19, 2015 in Claremorris, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

In statements to gardai, he said he never intended to hurt the deceased, but wanted to scare him and get him to leave his house after he discovered him in a locked bedroom with his 14-year old sister.

The accused knew Dovydas Jenkas, had been friends with him and had played basketball with him in the same school, but had been avoiding him following a number of incidents which included the deceased being suspended from school for a number of days.

Both teenagers had moved from Lithuania to Ireland some years earlier with their families. The accused lived in Claremorris with his mother and sister.

The accused told gardai that he had taken a homemade knife and ran down to the back garden after he spotted Dovydas Jenkas climbing out an upstairs bedroom window in the early hours of the morning on December 19, 2015, having earlier spent half an hour trying to find out who was in the bedroom with his sister. His mother was not at home at the time.

Dovydas Jenkus (17)
Dovydas Jenkus (17)

He said he chased Dovydas Jenkas three or four times around a trampoline, urging him to leave, and that the stabbing happened when the older boy stopped and turned and they collided.

Prof. Cassidy, having viewed video evidence of the accused describing to gardai what happened, said that the track of the knife was not consistent with an impaling injury which might occur if two people collide straight on.

In such circumstances the knife wound would be front to back but in this instance it was from side to side at a 45 degree angle.

Prof. Cassidy, in response to defence counsel Michael Bowman, agreed that the angle the knife entered would be affected if the victim had fallen or was in the process of falling at the point of impact.

The court had been told that the back garden was wet and muddy where the incident occurred in the early hours of that morning.

Prof. Cassidy said the stabbing was a dynamic event and the positions of both parties had not been determined when the impact happened. She said that it would only take mild to moderate force to penetrate the skin when two individuals collided as force would be coming from both sides.

She agreed with Mr Bowman that the accused, who had just turned 16 shortly before the incident, was in an alien environment when trying to show investigating gardai how the stabbing occurred.

Prof. Cassidy told Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight women and four men that she carried out a post mortem at Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar and that the 17-year old had died quickly from his injuries.

His left upper lung collapsed rapidly and the blade pierced the left ventricle of the heart, resulting in significant amounts of blood in the chest cavity and air passages.

Dovydas Jenkas had pronounced dead at 3.40am on December 19 after extensive efforts were made to resuscitate him.

The trial continues.

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