Demonstration of Glock pistol at Geoghegan murder trial
THE JURY in the Shane Geoghegan murder trial has been given a demonstration of how the gun used to murder Mr Geoghegan could be loaded and unloaded.
Ballistics expert Det Garda Mark Collendar was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court on the second day of the trial of a Dublin man charged with murder.
Barry Doyle (26), Portland Row, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan (28) on November 9th, 2008, at Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick.
Mr Doyle watched yesterday as Det Garda Collendar loaded dummy bullets into a Glock semi-automatic pistol which, he assured the court, could not fire. He showed the jury how bullets could be ejected manually from the handgun without firing them.
“It’s called racking,” said the detective, whose training included reconstructions of shooting scenes in the US.
He said this process of unloading the weapon would be used if there was a stoppage or if the gun jammed.
Det Garda Collendar gave the demonstration after showing the jury two undischarged rounds of ammunition he had found at the crime scene. Both bullets had ejector marks, meaning they had been inside a semi-automatic pistol and had to be ejected manually.
He also found eight discharged cartridge cases, all of which had been fired from the same Glock that had contained the two undischarged rounds. The Glock was never recovered, he said.
Earlier, State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy testified that Mr Geoghegan died of gunshot injuries to his head and trunk. Extensive injuries to his brain and trauma to his right lung were both potentially fatal, she said.
The postmortem examination showed Mr Geoghegan had been shot five times. He was shot in the back of his head, in his right upper arm, in his abdomen and twice in his back. She recovered three bullets from his body.
She said that once the injury to the back of his head had been sustained, he would have been incapable of movement and would have collapsed and died rapidly. This was because the bullet had completely transected the brain stem and was therefore probably the last injury he sustained, she said.
The injury to his arm, which injured three ribs and his right lung, was also potentially fatal, she added.
She also said that he may have been on the ground where he was found when the wounds to the back of his head and back of his left shoulder were inflicted.
An injury to the right side of his back might have been inflicted when he was bending or crouching and facing his attacker, Prof Cassidy added.
The injury to his arm was probably inflicted when his front right side was facing the attacker. The abdominal injury was probably inflicted when his left side was facing the attacker, she said.
She explained that the different trajectories of the bullets meant movement of one or both parties.
Prof Cassidy also identified the clothing Mr Geoghegan was wearing the night he was killed. She pointed to the bullet holes and bloodstains in his hat, jacket and polo shirt.
In his opening speech, Tom O’Connell SC, prosecuting, said that Mr Doyle had admitted during Garda interviews to shooting Mr Geoghegan.
He said the Garryowen rugby player was killed in a case of mistaken identity, but that this was immaterial.
The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of eight men and three women.