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Teen sent for murder trial on Michaela

A TEENAGER accused of killing 12-year-old schoolgirl Michaela Davis has been sent forward for trial.

Jonathan Byrne (19) allegedly murdered the schoolgirl on the Porterstown Road in west Dublin on August 28.

The parents of the schoolgirl had reported her missing in the early hours of the morning.

Michaela's body was discovered later that afternoon in undergrowth on a bank by the Royal Canal.

Byrne, of Lohunda Downs, in Clonsilla, appeared before Cloverhill District Court charged with killing the schoolgirl at the Porterstown playing fields in west Dublin.

The State solicitor told the court the book of evidence was ready. Detective Sergeant Daniel Callaghan served the book of evidence on Byrne, who will now go forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.

Byrne, who was clean-shaven and dressed in a white open-necked shirt and black suit, stood up from his place in the custody dock to take the book of evidence from Det Sgt Callaghan.

He immediately handed it to his lawyer Austin O'Briain.

Defence solicitor Eugene Dunne said there had been no application made for bail. Judge Bridget Reilly remanded Byrne in custody. The judge also gave Byrne the alibi caution, warning him he had 14 days to provide to the State details of anyone he proposed to call in his defence.

Byrne was told by a prison officer to "stand up" while the judge gave the alibi caution, and he nodded to indicate he understood the caution.

Judge Reilly assigned Mr Dunne on free legal aid and, due to the seriousness of the charge, assigned a senior counsel as well as a junior counsel.