The jury in the Dungannon Crown Court trial of a 44-year-old father of two accused of murdering his wife four years ago has been told that he will not be giving evidence in his own defence.
And the jury of eight men and for women also learned that Stephen McKinney will not be calling any other evidence in the case which has been running from the end of April.
Trial judge Madam Justice McBride have sent them away until Wednesday of next week when prosecution QC Richard Weir will make his final submissions to them followed by Martin O'Rourke QC for the defence.
Earlier today Mr O'Rourke told the judge that Mr McKinney would not be giving evidence and that he had been advised the jury may draw what inference they might over his not going into the witness box.
Stephen McKinney, who lived with his family in Convoy, Co Donegal, but now with an address in Castletown Square, Fintona, Co Tyrone, denies murdering his 35-year-old wife Lu Na during a family boating holiday on Lower Lough Erne on April 13, 2017.
The prosecution claim Mr McKinney, originally from Strabane, was a controlling man, who had tired of her, yet was unwilling to accept she might divorce and so "killed his wife" and that Lu Na's death was "no tragic boating accident".
The boating holiday along with their two children was supposed to be a treat to celebrate the couple's up and coming 14th wedding anniversary. During his police interviews Mr McKinney maintained he had nothing to do with his wife death.
And after nearly 24 hours of questioning, in 25 interviews over five days, he rejected any suggestion he had, blamed himself for failing to save her, and feels he could have done more.
"I still cannot believe it... it’s been seven months and two weeks and I can't accept it… I never will", he told detectives, ending by saying he still looks for his wife everywhere and he "never will" accept she is gone.
Next week following final submissions form the prosecution and defence Madam Justice McBride will outline the facts for the jury and also detail them on the law involved before asking them to retire to consider the verdict in the trial.