Man gets life for murdering his best friend
A man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his best friend last year.
Darren Wynne (21), of Ballyroe, Athy, Co Kildare, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Jamie Lindsay (20) at Coney Green, Coneyboro, Athy, on April 6, 2013.
Wynne shot Mr Lindsay in the eye with a sawn-off shotgun after a background of mutual threats.
On July 10, 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.
Although Wynne pleaded guilt to manslaughter during his trial, the plea was not accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sentenced Wynne to life in prison for the murder, and adjourned sentencing for the firearms offences until November when probation and psychological reports will be before the court.
Two other men pleaded guilty to Mr Lindsay's manslaughter during the trial and will be sentenced later.
Quentin Monaghan (21), of Tullamoy, Stradbally, Co Laois and James Seery (21), of Canal Side, Athy, were also charged with murder and were tried alongside Wynne.
It was the State's case that Seery and Monaghan were part of a joint enterprise.
But they were rearraigned during the trial and both men pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Monaghan and Seery were also rearraigned and pleaded guilty to possession of a sawn-off shotgun and cartridges in suspicious circumstances on the same date.
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 €1,000 for cannabis herb that had gone missing and had also threatened to rape his grandmother.
He said he only wanted to kneecap him and did not mean to kill him.
Counsel for Wynne raised the defence of provocation and also said the gun used was capable of accidental discharge.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head.
He said the right eye was destroyed and there were extensive fractures to the skull. There was evidence the shot was discharged from a couple of feet or so.