One of three suspects charged with murdering an elderly man says he received a text message hours before the fatal beating, which alleged the victim was a rapist.
Matthew Cummins, 22, Sean Davy, 21, and James Davy, 25, have all pleaded not guilty to killing 64-year-old Thomas "Toddy" Dooley at his home in Edenderry, County Offaly, Ireland on Feb. 12, 2014.
Garda Detective Joe Hughes told prosecuting counsel Patrick Treacy that Cummins told him during an interview June 10, 2014, that the elderly man "raped my cousin."
Cummins also said he saw James Davy hitting Dooley numerous times with a baseball bat. James had reportedly received a text message earlier that day on Feb. 11 from Chloe McBride, Dooley’s granddaughter, reports RTE News.
The message read, “Toddy a rapist. I never going there again.”
Prosecutors say the text message provides a motive for the murder and shows it was premeditated.
Cummins said was unaware of the text message and did not know Dooley would be attacked.
Cummins said he thought the group was going out for some drinks. "I didn't know if they had a plan. I didn't see it coming," he said.
Hughes agreed with Cummins defense attorney, Caroline Biggs SC, that the police did not know about Dooley.
Hughs said he was "soft" and that youths, particularly teenagers, would often congregate at Dooley's house and "take advantage" of him. "His house was being used," said Hughes.
The jury also heard interviews Cummins gave to authorities at Tullamore Garda Station in February 2014.
Hughes agreed with Treacy that during those interviews Cummins said he was scared to come forward following the murder.
Investigators asked him why he did not call emergency services and he said he was too afraid.
When asked if he had told his parents he said: "No. I didn't want them to think their son was a murderer."
Sources: RTE News / Photo credit: RTE News