Killing over chihuahua row unplanned - Defence

Council for one of the men accused of murdering a man in Navan has asked the jury to disregard the suggestion the killing was pre-meditated

The barrister for one of two men accused of murder in Navan has asked the jury to disregard the suggestion the killing was pre-meditated.

Josh Turner and Wayne Cluskey, who are both from Mooretown in Ratoath, Co. Meath, deny murdering Christopher Nevin at Tailteann Road in Navan.

It is the prosecution’s case that they killed him with a hatchet during a row over payment for the breeding of Chihuahuas.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard that Josh Turner and Wayne Cluskey drove to Christopher Nevin’s friend’s home on November 19th 2015.

Mr Nevin had three female Chihuahuas and Mr Turner had given him a male Chihuahua for the purpose of breeding.

A row allegedly developed between the pair after only one of the dogs became pregnant - with disagreement over who would get what out of the deal.

Mr Nevin’s best friend Wayne Casserly gave evidence that Mr Turner had knocked on the door of his home and under cross examination, he admitted that Mr Nevin had armed himself with a hatchet before going outside.

During his closing address on behalf of Mr. Turner this afternoon, Patrick Marrinan SC said it his client’s case is that he lost control. 

“We all know he killed Christopher with a hatchet which was brought to the scene by his co-accused Wayne Cluskey,” he said.

However, he asked the jurors to decide what his intent was when he did so.

He said he wasn’t advancing the case of self-defence or provocation so that his client could walk free from court but argued the case now rests on dealing with degrees of guilt - and deciding whether murder or manslaughter is the appropriate charge.

He also said he was concerned about CCTV footage shown during the trial.

The footage was taken from a house across from where Mr. Nevin was killed, but he said it doesn’t show the initial interaction between the men.

He said the video evidence was inconclusive and asked the jury to disregard the suggestion that what happened was pre-meditated.

He said his client’s case is that he “flipped and completely lost it” when a man he considered to be a very close friend of his came screaming out of the house with an axe.

He questioned whether the incident would ever have occurred if Mr Nevin had not brought the axe out of the house.

The jurors will soon hear the closing speech from counsel for co-accused, Wayne Cluskey.