Panorama of upper lough erne by Tawg

Murder Trial Underway Following Death of Lu Na McKinney

A murder trial following the death of Lu Na McKinney, 35, took place on February 26th. Dungannon Crown Court was told that the murder had taken place three years prior to the trial near Devenish Island, Lough Erne in the early hours of the morning on the 13th April, 2017. The defendant, Stephen McKinney, the 43-year-old husband of Ms Kinney, stood accused as the prosecuting QC Richard Weir, stated that Mr McKinney was a “controlling husband, he tired of his wife but was unwilling to accept the possibility of her divorcing him. So he put her off the end of a Lough Erne cruiser. It had been hired to celebrate their upcoming 14th wedding anniversary.” Mr Weir had told the jury of seven men and five women that once they had heard the evidence, “You would find that this was no tragic accident and you will be sure that Mr McKinney killed his wife.” He stated that Ms McKinney had been incapacitated after taking a sleeping drug which Mr Kinney allegedly obtained online before causing Ms McKinney to enter the water. Mr Weir continued in saying, “Her body was recovered from Fermanagh’s Lower Lough Erne near Devenish Island, within 40 minutes of her husband raising the alarm in the early hours of April 13th, 2017.” When discussing the motive, Mr Weir stated that, “Months before her death, Ms McKinney had talked of divorce and of taking the children back to China, something he (Mr McKinney) would not have wanted.” The first prosecution witness said that after he encountered Mr McKinney who was standing wrapped in a red blanket, he had shouted to him asking where Ms McKinney had gone. The Court heard that Mr McKinney was allegedly “very calm” during the event. The Court was subsequently told that Mr McKinney “did nothing to recover his wife, a non-swimmer, from the lough.” Once the body of Ms McKinney had been recovered, Mr McKinney had been suggested to go to the hospital with his wife several times before agreeing to do so, having refused prior to that occasion. The prosecutor had further stated that Mr McKinney had given conflicting accounts to police, authorities, friends and family as to how she came to be at the lough, after she allegedly went to secure the mooring ropes on the McKinney cruiser. Mr McKinney had made two emergency 999 calls. Despite the weather of the night being described as good, with very little wind, no rain and with the full moon providing good visibility, the Court was informed that a black object found in the lough’s waters could only be determined to be the body of Ms McKinney at the point of which it was retrieved. As Mr McKinney had entered a plea of not guilty, the trial continues but the prosecutor, Mr Weir, has insisted that “The case against Mr McKinney was a circumstantial one, but one where the strands of evidence were sufficient, when taken together, to support their case.