Jury deliberating in case of woman accused of staging suicide
Egita Jaunmaize charged over effort to cover up boyfriend’s alleged murder of housemate
Egita Jaunmaize told gardaí she was in fear for her life and acting on her boyfriend’s orders, having just seen him strangle Antra Ozolina.
A jury has started deliberating in the trial of a woman charged with staging the suicide of a woman her boyfriend had strangled in order to impede his prosecution.
Egita Jaunmaize (34) is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of her boyfriend, knowing or believing him to have murdered her housemate Antra Ozolina (49) or to have committed some other arrestable offence.
Ms Jaunmaize, a mushroom picker originally from Latvia, admits placing a blue cord around Ms Ozolina’s neck so as to simulate her suicide to make it more difficult to establish her death was suspicious.
She has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to carrying out the offence, without reasonable excuse, at their home at The Old Post, Main Street, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, on or about June 27th, 2014.
She told gardaíthat she was in fear for her life and acting on her boyfriend’s orders at the time, having just seen him strangle Ms Ozolina.
The trial has heard that he has not been charged. The neo-Nazi is currently being spoon-fed as a result of a traumatic brain injury sustained months later while fleeing after a car he had hijacked crashed.
The prosecution reminded the jury that the reason the accused gave gardaí for having lied initially was a fear of her boyfriend being sent back to Latvia, where he was wanted by the authorities.
Counsel pointed to the fact that she had continued a relationship with him afterwards, turning down a Garda offer of St Vincent de Paul accommodation.
Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, also pointed to what she told gardaí after his crash, when she was still living with him. “I know now I can’t help him, I can’t change him. I’m tired trying to help him.”
Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, asked the jurors to consider both duress and reasonable excuse as defences for his client.
“Look at the situation she was in and decide if there was a reasonable possibility she was in fear of death at the time,” he suggested.
The jury will resume their deliberations on Thursday.