A Lurgan man was remanded into custody on Friday accused of the murder of Shane Whitla, who was shot dead just over week ago.
At about the same time as Kevin Conway (25) was appearing at Craigavon Magistrates Court by video-link from police custody, his alleged victim was being buried by his grieving family.
Mr Conway, from Deeny Drive in Lurgan, Co Armagh, is accused of Mr Whitla’s murder on January 12th this year. Defence solicitor Patrick Madden said his client “had totally denied any involvement in this murder”.
Mr Whitla (39), a father of four, was shot in an alleyway off Woodville Street, before making his way to Lord Lurgan Park where he was pronounced dead.
Revisiting the scene on Thursday, Det Chief Insp John Caldwell said Mr Whitla had been shot a number of times, including once in the back.
He appealed for anyone with information to come forward. “I’m also keen to highlight the reward of up to £20,000 from CrimeStoppers, who are a charity and independent of the police,” he said.
“The reward is offered for information given directly to CrimeStoppers that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Shane’s murder. Importantly, information can be given with 100 per cent anonymity.”
In court on Friday, Mr Conway confirmed he understood the charge, and a detective constable said he believed he could connect Mr Conway to the charge.
Asking for the case to be adjourned for a week, Mr Madden told the court Mr Conway was “anxious to apply for bail” so the seven-day adjournment will allow time for “sureties to be put in place”.
District Judge Bernie Kelly remanded Mr Conway into custody and ordered him to be produced to court next Friday, January 27th.