Man facing charges linked to brutal murder in Coalisland passes away
One of five men about to go on trial on charges linked to a brutal murder has died, it has emerged.
Ramunas Macnoris was accused of a number of offences relating to incidents in counties Tyrone, Armagh and Down, culminating in the gruesome killing of Gediminas Stauskas in Coalisland in October 2015.
Although not charged with the murder, Macnoris (27), of Orpheus Drive, Dungannon, had been accused of kidnapping a male in Newry on September 17, 2015, and causing him grievous bodily harm, possessing a handgun with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence and possession of cocaine.
He was detected by police after returning from the alleged kidnapping, and found to be a disqualified driver.
It is understood he was found dead in Dungannon last week.
The principal accused in the case is Darius Sikorskis (36), of Lambfields, Dungannon, who is remanded in custody.
He is accused of murdering Mr Stauskas on a date between October 12 and 15, 2015, as well as false imprisonment, possessing a handgun and causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Stauskas was being sought by police at the time in relation to alleged involvement in a shooting that occurred in Newry shortly before his death. While conducting the search, officers made the grim discovery of his body in a Coalisland garage and noted "a high level of violence and torture was used in the offence".
Arrests and charges followed soon after. Two men were charged with assisting Sikorskis during the alleged detention of the victim in the garage.
They are Marius Dzimisevicius (28), of Cabhan Aluinn, Pomeroy, and Dmitrius Indrisiunas (43), of The Shannoch, Coalisland. They are each accused of assisting a person knowing they had committed murder, and acted to impede their apprehension, as well as withholding information.
A third man, Eimantas Lumsys (29), of Hollow Mills Avenue, Newmills, faces a single count of withholding information.
These cases proceeded through Dungannon Magistrates Court and were approaching committal to trial.
However, a recent sitting was advised that a number of other linked cases relating to incidents in Portadown and Newry would be conjoined with the Dungannon matters and prosecuted collectively.
This led to Macnoris - who was accused of offences in Newry - being added to the overall case. But at the most recent sitting, a defence solicitor advised the court that Macnoris has "sadly passed away".
The prosecution advised all charges against him are withdrawn.