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Man found guilty of shooting dead man’s father while pushing young son in stroller

A Dublin man has been found guilty of murdering a father-of-one by shooting him dead three times while the victim was pushing his four-month-old son into a pram in broad daylight.

It took the jury of seven men and four women just over three hours to figure out that Wayne Cooney was the cyclist who circled Jordan Davis like a “shark moving toward its prey” for three days before firing eight shots fired a 9mm pistol at him.

Mr Davis sustained three gunshot wounds, including one to the head, which killed him instantly. A child who happened to be cycling through the alley was yards away when Cooney opened fire.

The state informed the jury that Mr. Davis was a drug dealer but that this did not diminish his claim to have his right to life respected.

Following the jury verdict, Judge Tony Hunt remanded Cooney, 31, ahead of a hearing next Friday morning at which members of the victim’s family will be invited to speak before Cooney is sentenced to life in prison.

Mr Justice Hunt thanked the jury for their hard work in a “disturbing” trial and described Cooney’s recklessness in shooting eight times while Mr Davis was pushing his son in a stroller as “amazing”. Mr Davis’s mother, Sandra Davis, who testified at the trial, was supported by friends and family as the verdict was read.

Prosecutors alleged that Mr Davis owed €70,000 to a local drug dealer, identified only as CD at trial, who was the brother of Cooney’s then-girlfriend. When Mr Davis’ mobile phone was examined by Gardaí, they found a message from CD warning Mr Davis: “I’m on your case mate, it won’t be long” and later told him: “Soon, very soon, bang bang “

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Jordan Davis was shot while pushing his son’s stroller

Prosecution attorney Bernard Condon SC told the jury that the circumstantial evidence against Cooney was that he was either the shooter or the “unhappiest person ever.” A police officer had identified Cooney from CCTV footage as the cyclist circling Mr Davis.

Cooney’s DNA was found on a glove in an area on Belcamp Lane where the gunman ditched gloves and a black body warmer minutes after the shooting. Cooney was also identified when he returned to the same area to retrieve the body warmer about an hour and 20 minutes after the shooting.

Prosecutors also relied on cell phone evidence showing Cooney’s phone called CD at moments when the person identified on CCTV as the shooter could be seen holding a phone to his ear.

This was the first trial challenging the use of cellphone evidence after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Ireland’s system of storing and accessing cellphone data violated data protection rights.

Admitting the cell phone evidence, Mr Justice Hunt said the “weighty public interest and public interest inherent in the need to properly investigate this murder comprehensively outweigh any limited privacy rights attached to the data”.

Following the jury verdict, Mr. Justice Hunt informed the jury that there were pre-trial hearings in which the defense attempted to exclude relevant evidence relating to CCTV, cell phones and certain witnesses, including Stacey Hayes.

After the murder, the gunman’s movements were followed by CCTV as he walked to a nearby bus stop. Ms Hayes told the trial that she was driving through Darndale at the same time as Cooney’s friend, identified only as EF. EF spoke to someone on the phone and directed Ms Hayes until they got to the same bus stop where EF said, “There’s the idiot” and Ms Hayes told her to get on.

Ms Hayes said she recognized the person who got into her car as EF’s boyfriend Wayne. She denied to Cooney’s defense attorney Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC that criminals pressured her to make a false accusation against Cooney. Cell phone evidence showed Cooney’s phone chatted with EF’s phone for 200 seconds, right around the time Ms Hayes said EF directed her to the bus stop while speaking to someone on the phone.

Cooney denied to Gardaí that he was the person on the bike or the shooter. Mr Ó Lideadha told the jury that the prosecution’s case contained “big holes” and was not beyond a reasonable doubt. He said there could have been a number of people who had a motive for murdering Mr Davis and he questioned the credibility of the Garda, which Cooney had identified from CCTV footage. He also challenged prosecutors’ claims that they proved the cellphone belonged to Cooney.

The jury’s verdict is expected to be appealed. During the legal argument, Mr Ó Lideadha described the judge’s indictment to the jury as “the complete negation of a fair trial”. He indicated that if the case goes to the Court of Appeal, he will make submissions on the judge’s presentation to the jury.

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Sandra Davis, Jordan Davis’ mother, outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

Sandra Davis told the trial that she knew her son was dealing drugs when he started buying expensive clothes and going to Amsterdam. He spent over 1,000 euros on a buggy when his son was born. She said things “went downhill” after January 2019, when Jordan’s “so-called friends” all disappeared.

In March of this year, five men appeared in her garden. One of them yelled at Ms. Davis, “Tell Jordan to pay his damn bills, it’s not over, tell Jordan we’re coming back.” That night, the house’s windows were smashed, she said.

By May 2019, she said her son “seems to think things are okay” and he was beginning to relax. “He sorted it out, he said he sorted it out,” she said. She agreed that her son had been friends with Sean Little, who was shot the day before her son.

During a separate investigation into CD, Gardaí discovered a drug dealer’s “hack list” that included names of people who owed CD money. Gardaí identified an individual owed €70,000, identified as “Jordo”, as Jordan Davis.

In a lengthy indictment to the jury, Mr Justice Hunt said that if they were convinced beyond a doubt that Cooney was the cyclist who came up behind Jordan Davis and shot him, they should find him guilty of murder.

He told them the gunman who drove after Mr Davis and shot him was “undoubtedly guilty of murder” but the question they needed to resolve was whether the cyclist was Wayne Cooney.

Mr Justice Hunt told the jury that if prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cooney murdered Mr Davis, they could find that he obstructed the arrest or prosecution of the killer by taking away the body warmer. He said Cooney said he was spotted on CCTV at Belcamp Lane about an hour and 20 minutes after the murder.

He said the shooter disposed of the body warmer during a 40-second period while he was off-camera, and when Cooney retrieved the body warmer, he also went off-camera for almost exactly 40 seconds.

He said the jury should consider that if Cooney wasn’t the person who left the body warmer behind, he must have acquired some knowledge of it being placed there. He added: “If he wasn’t firing, then in that hour and 20 minutes he gained the knowledge of where the item was. You have to take that into account.”

From that perspective, Mr Justice Hunt said Mr Cooney was not the shooter but may have “covered up”. He went on to tell the jury, “If he wasn’t shooting, he didn’t come into the alley by accident. There had to be some information that got him there, he had to know something about what he was picking up where he was picking it up from.”

Cooney, with an address on Glenshane Drive in Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Davis, 22, on May 22, 2019 in an alleyway next to Our Lady of Immaculate National School in Darndale, Dublin.

He also pleaded not guilty to possession of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition in circumstances leading to the reasonable conclusion that he did not have them for lawful purposes. The jury convicted him on those charges as well.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-found-guilty-of-shooting-father-of-one-dead-as-he-pushed-his-infant-son-in-pram-41815655.html Man found guilty of shooting dead man’s father while pushing young son in stroller

Fry Electronics Team

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