Donegal man remanded on murder charge after wife’s boat death

His wife of 15 years was initially believed to have died in a boating accident

The court was told that the couple’s children, aged 11 and 14, were the only other people on the boat on the night of their mother’s death.

The court was told that the couple’s children, aged 11 and 14, were the only other people on the boat on the night of their mother’s death.

 

A man has appeared in court charged with murdering his 35-year-old wife during a boating holiday with their two children in Northern Ireland.

Stephen McKinney (41) of Flaxfields, Convoy, Co Donegal, is accused of killing Lu Na McKinney sometime between April 11 and April 14 2017 near Devenish Island in Co Fermanagh.

His wife of 15 years, who was originally from China, was initially believed to have died in a boating accident.

However, a detective inspector told Omagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday that this was a premeditated crime.

He said that, due “to the serious nature and premeditation of this crime”, he was opposed to McKinney being released on bail.

The officer said McKinney, who is originally from Strabane, posed a flight risk and could interfere with witnesses.

He said McKinney has travelled extensively throughout the world and that he has money and property in China.

“People have expressed a genuine fear of his actions should he be released,” the officer added.

The court was told that the couple’s children, aged 11 and 14, were the only other people on the boat on the night of their mother’s death.

Police have yet to interview them, the officer said.

A defence lawyer told the court that McKinney has “vehemently denied the allegation”.

“This was an accident and was treated as one until recently,” he added.

Applying for bail, he said any suggestion by police that McKinney would offend if released was “theoretical”.

However, District Judge Bernie Kelly denied the application, saying she was concerned about the risk of flight.

McKinney, who was also charged with possession of a Class C drug, namely Zopiclone, was remanded in custody to appear at Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court via video-link on December 11th.

– PA