Jury sent home after brief deliberations in Ana Kriégel murder trial

Two 14-year-old boys are accused of killing schoolgirl in Lucan in May of last year

Ana Kriégel was found dead in a derelict farmhouse outside Lucan, Co Dublin, on May 14th, 2018.

Ana Kriégel was found dead in a derelict farmhouse outside Lucan, Co Dublin, on May 14th, 2018.

 

The jury in the trial of two 14-year-old boys accused of the murder of Ana Kriégel briefly considered its verdict on Wednesday before being sent home for the day.

At 12.35pm on Wednesday Mr Justice Paul McDermott concluded his summing up of the six weeks of evidence and asked the jury of eight men and four women to retire and begin considering a verdict.

Jurors spent 30 minutes deliberating before being sent home and asked to return to court on Thursday.

The prosecution alleges that Boy B lured Ana (14) from her home at 5pm on May 14th, 2018 on the pretence of meeting Boy A, who she was “interested” in.

Boy A then allegedly violently sexually assaulted and murdered her in the derelict farmhouse as Boy B watched.

Boy A has pleaded not guilty to the murder and sexual assault “involving serious violence” of Ms Kriégel on May 14th, 2018, at Glenwood House, Laraghcon, Clonee Road, Lucan in Dublin.

Boy B has pleaded not guilty to the murder of the girl on the same date. The two accused were 13 at the time of the alleged offence and are 14 now.

Before asking jurors to begin deliberations, Mr Justice McDermott told them they were dealing with an unusual case “involving evidence of a clearly disquieting nature”.

He said they had to examine the evidence clinically and forensically and reminded them they had to be satisfied of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mr Justice McDermott spent much of the last three days addressing the jury on the applicable law in the case as well as reviewing the evidence.

He told jurors to use “teenage glasses” when considering how the two 14-year-old accused dealt with gardaí during interviews.

Forensic

The court heard the prosecution case against Boy A is based largely on forensic evidence linking him to the scene of Ana’s death. Ana’s blood was found on his boots and on a zombie mask which he allegedly brought to the scene and wore during the attack. His semen was also found on Ana’s top.

The judge advised the jurors that intent is a key ingredient of murder. The jury must acquit if it did not believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the intention was to kill or cause serious harm to Ana that day, he said.

Intention did not require elaborate pre-planning or pre-meditation, the judge said. It can arise within a short period of time before a murder.

The case against Boy B is based mostly on what he said during the eight garda interviews conducted after his arrest.

During questioning, the boy admitted to lying to gardaí. He changed his story several times before telling gardaí he was in the house when Ana was attacked. He said he witnessed Boy A flip her to the ground before choking and stripping her. He denied knowing this was going to happen.

The prosecution need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Boy B knew what his co-accused planned to do to Ana that day, the judge said.

The prosecution said Boy B lied for no other reason than to cover up his guilt.

Inconsistencies

Mr Justice McDermott said the prosecution is within its rights to rely on inconsistencies or lies to prove their case. But jurors must avoid jumping to “simple conclusions” regarding the telling of lies.

Sometimes lies can suggest guilt but they are also sometimes told by innocent people.

There are various innocent reasons for people to lie, including shame, panic, misjudgment and confusion, he said.

The judge reminded jurors they could not use answers given by Boy B in interview as evidence against Boy A.

The trial has heard evidence of references found on Boy A’s phone to “abandoned places in Lucan” and “15 most gruesome torture methods in history”. The judge told the jurors to bear in mind teenagers tend to experiment with things their parents might not approve of, such as growing their hair long.

He said jurors shouldn’t be allow themselves be “brought on false trails which might seem attractive” in relation to this evidence. Boy A had shown an interest in abandoned places but so had other young people who gave evidence, he said.