Two men, one of them the victim’s nephew, were today (Friday) ordered to stand trial for the murder of a man who was stabbed in the leg and left to bleed to death.
Appearing at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court by videolink from prison, 25-year-old Dean Martin and David Ellis (20) were jointly charged with the murder of Ellis’ uncle Randall Cecil Robert Ellis on December 9, 2019.
During a brief Preliminary Enquiry, the legal step necessary to elevate any case to the more powerful Crown Court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a Prima Facie case against the alleged killers, a submission conceded by their defence lawyers.
While none of the alleged facts surrounding the charge were opened today, previous courts have heard how the body of the 49-year-old, who was known as ‘Foggy,’ was discovered in his home at Clounagh Park in Portadown shortly before 10am on Monday December 9.
Neighbours who spotted blood alerted police and when they forced entry, they found him lying in the hallway with a tourniquet tied around his right leg, and the court had heard that a post mortem examination determined the cause of death was as a result of blood loss from a stab wound to his right calf.
Ellis and Martin were arrested after police seized CCTV footage, which had captured the two defendants walking towards the victim’s home just after 5am, and other footage which showed them walking away from the property, where Mr Ellis lived alone, at 6.20am.
According to the police case, Mr Ellis had tried to make a 999 call at 6.19am after he was subjected to what a lawyer described as “a violent, premeditated and unprovoked attack”.
During police questioning Martin, from the Tandragee Road in Portadown, denied any involvement or even that he knew the victim but Mr Ellis’s blood has been found in his shoes and his co-accused blamed Martin for the stabbing, claiming that Martin “shanked” the victim in the leg after they went to the house.
Ellis further claimed Martin fly-kicked his uncle in the chest as they were leaving in an effort to stop the victim from following them.
In court today, the court clerk told the alleged killers that although not obliged to, they had the right to comment on the charge and to call evidence to the PE on their behalves but they declined the opportunity.
Remanding both Ellis and Martin back into custody, Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court and ordered the pair to appear for their arraignment on March 23.