The Co Armagh man accused of murdering a police officer in the Republic has described a key prosecution witness as a "lying psychopath" while rejecting claims that he made admissions about the fatal shooting, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
Aaron Brady (29) of New Road in Crossmaglen was yesterday called by the defence to give evidence and repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder of Garda Detective Adrian Donohoe.
He also denied being involved in the robbery of a car from Clogherhead, Co Louth, three nights before the murder which the prosecution say was later used by the robbers.
Brady told the jury he lied to gardai in the days after the murder because he was involved in moving laundered diesel cubes at the time and did not want to alert them to this.
The trial previously heard from Daniel Cahill, a barman living in New York, who gave evidence he heard Brady admit on three occasions that he had shot a Garda officer in Ireland.
Giving testimony from the witness box, Brady told defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC that he was assaulted by Mr Cahill and three of his friends at his apartment in the Bronx on St Patrick's Day 2015.
The row, the court heard, was over an alleged threesome Brady and his friend had with the partner of one of Cahill's friends, which the accused denied happened.
Brady said that he was due to work the following morning and was lying in bed when he heard two bangs and people shouting, 'Where the f*** is he'. Four men entered his room, he said, adding that "Dano just attacked me" and that he headbutted him.
The accused said this went on for around 10 minutes and that Mr Cahill then rang Brady's friend. During the call, the court heard, Mr Cahill is alleged to have said: "I'm going to cut this b******'s toes off."
The allegations were vehemently denied by Mr Cahill when put to him in cross-examination previously.
Brady told the court: "I swear on my son's life that Daniel Cahill stood in that room and done what he done to me. The man is a lying psychopath."
Brady accepted that he was previously involved in a fight with a man in the Coachmann's Inn bar where Mr Cahill worked in 2014.
However, he denied he was alone in the toilet with Mr Cahill and made admissions about the fatal shooting while threatening the person who had punched him. He also described as "ridiculous" evidence given by Mr Cahill that he made admissions while "crying into his pint" in the bar at a later date.
Brady also denied ever being in a named individual's apartment where Daniel Cahill said he overheard the accused admit to shooting a guard.
Brady was asked by his defence counsel about his movements on the night of the murder, and gave an account of moving laundered diesel waste cubes at a yard on Concession Road in Cullaville, south Armagh.
He told the jury that he was "in a state of depression" following the murder when articles appeared in newspapers about the fatal shooting using a pixelated image from his Facebook page.
Brady said he was in the Wright Venue, in Swords, Dublin, when his mother rang him "roaring crying" that his pixelated image was on the front of a Sunday newspaper.
The court heard he was under pressure from the local community and that his father Tony, who was the chairman of Crossmaglen Rangers GAA Club, stepped down from that role. Brady told the trial that he left for the US in April 2013 to "get a better life" and "get away from being blamed".
The jury heard he first stayed in Boston where he worked with his friend, Suspect A, who ran a business over there. He said that in February 2014 he drove to New York for his birthday, taking Suspect A's father's car, and "went missing for a couple of days." Brady said "no one knew where I was" and that this caused a fallout between him and Suspect A.
The accused will continue giving evidence before the jury of six men and seven women this morning. He has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Adrian Donohoe (41) in Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.