A Lurgan man accused of kicking Marcell ‘Junior’ Seeley to death is to be tried before a jury for murder, a judge ordered today (Friday).
Mark Daniel Ward appeared for his Preliminary Enquiry at Craigavon Magistrates Court via videolink from Maghaberry prison, telling the court he was aware of the single charge against him.
Unemployed Ward (25), from Drumellan Gardens, is in custody accused of the murder of Mr Seeley on a date unknown between 9-13 October last year and previous courts have heard that he “strenuously denies” involvement.
Previous courts have also heard how Mr Seeley (34) was found dead in his ground floor flat in the Dingwell Park area of Lurgan and Ward was arrested the following day.
A post mortem revealed Mr Seeley died from blunt force trauma, with extensive bruising to his head, face and shoulders, and a severe laceration to his ear.
During an unsuccessful bail application at an earlier hearing, it was alleged that Ward could be linked to the incident through footwear marks found on the body and at the scene as well as his DNA profile being uncovered in a cigarette butt which lay a few feet from Mr Seeley’s badly beaten body.
None of the alleged circumstances leading to the murder were opened in court today but a PPS lawyer submitted that the papers and statements formed the basis for a Prima Facie case against Ward, a submission which defence lawyer Aaron Thompson took no issue with.
Ward he had the right to comment on the charge, give evidence to the PE himself or call witnesses on his behalf but he declined, opting to remain silent.
Returning the case to the Crown Court, District Judge Bernie Kelly said she was satisfied there was a case to answer and ordered Ward to appear at Laganside courthouse on 4 November for arraignment, extending legal aid to allow a senior barrister to be instructed for the defence.