No verdict yet in capital murder trial as jury released for weekend
A jury will return to the Central Criminal Court on Monday to continue their deliberations in the trial of a man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe during a credit union raid in 2013.
The five men and seven women have been considering their verdicts for more than six hours over three days having first begun hearing evidence last January.
Today (Friday) Mr Justice Michael White told them to formally suspend their deliberations. Telling them that the trial is at a "very sensitive" stage, he told them not to talk to anybody about the trial and not to look it up on social media.
He added: "Put it out of your minds, try to relax away from the tension."
Aaron Brady (29) from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe who was then a member of An Garda Síochána on active duty on January 25, 2013, at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth. Mr Brady has denies a charge of robbing approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques on the same date and at the same location.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Brady fired a single shot that instantly killed Det Gda Donohoe during the raid on Lordship Credit Union. Mr Brady has told the jury that he was loading cubes of laundered diesel waste onto a trailer in a yard in south Armagh at the time of the shooting.
The judge previously advised the jury to begin by considering the charge of robbery. He said that, if they find Mr Brady not guilty of that charge, it would be illogical to find him guilty of the murder charge.
The judge added that, if they find him guilty of robbery, they must then consider the capital murder charge, which he said is "tricky" because there are multiple possible verdicts.
Mr Justice White told the jury that the prosecution is saying that Mr Brady did not just participate in the robbery but that he shot Det Gda Donohoe. If the jury is not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Brady shot the garda, then they should bring a not guilty verdict, he said.
If they are satisfied that Mr Brady shot the detective, the judge said: "For capital murder you have to be satisfied he knew he was a member of An Garda Síochána on active duty or that he was reckless to that."
The jury could find Mr Brady guilty of murder but not capital murder if they decide that he was the shooter but did not know that he was shooting a garda and was not reckless to whether he was a garda.
The judge also pointed out that the defence has raised manslaughter as an alternative verdict. Mr Justice White explained that manslaughter is an unlawful killing without the intention to kill or cause serious injury. He added: "If that's your assessment, it's a matter for you entirely ladies and gentlemen, then you write down, 'not guilty of capital murder or murder but guilty of manslaughter'."