Peter Butterly Murder Trial
A man on trial, charged with murdering a dissident republican, told gardaí he was stopped near the shooting shortly after the killing because his car had broken down.
Peter Butterly (35) was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath, at about 2pm on March 6th, 2013. Three Dublin men are on trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court charged with his murder.
Dean Evans (24), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny; Edward McGrath (33), of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght; and Sharif Kelly (44), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan, have pleaded not guilty to murdering the father of two.
Mr Evans and Mr McGrath have also pleaded not guilty to firearm offences on the same occasion.
The court on Wednesday saw a video of part of a Garda interview with Mr Kelly following his arrest that day on Flemington Road. He told gardaí he had been driving from tending to his horse on Tubersool Lane when his engine management light came on.
He said his car then broke down before he reached Flemington Road. He got out, fiddled with wires for a few minutes and managed to restart it. That was when gardaí approached and arrested him.
The court heard yesterday that a forensic scientist specialising in DNA examined clothing attributed to the boot of his car that day.
Sandra McGrath testified that the DNA profile on a tracksuit top and bottoms found there matched that of Mr Evans.
Ms McGrath also examined other items found elsewhere during the investigation. These included a black balaclava, black gloves and a black wig.
She said a DNA profile matching that of Mr Evans was found on the balaclava and the gloves, while a DNA profile matching Mr McGrath’s was found on the black wig.
She agreed with Hugh Hartnett SC, defending Mr Evans, that DNA could be passed from one person to another and survive for a long time: several thousand years in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
The trial is in its 48th day.