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Two men plead not guilty to fatal shooting of man in Co Down

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Malcolm McKeown was shot six times outside Dewarts service station in Waringstown, Co Down (PSNI/Pacemaker).

Malcolm McKeown was shot six times outside Dewarts service station in Waringstown, Co Down (PSNI/Pacemaker).

Malcolm McKeown (54) was shot dead in 2019.

Malcolm McKeown (54) was shot dead in 2019.

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Malcolm McKeown was shot six times outside Dewarts service station in Waringstown, Co Down (PSNI/Pacemaker).

Two men have denied the murder of Malcolm McKeown almost three years ago.

Jake O'Brien (27), of Rectory Road, Lurgan, Co Armagh, and Andrew Thomas Kenneth Martin (26), of Bridge Street, Banbridge, Co Down, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video-link from the solicitors' offices for a brief arraignment hearing.

Both defendants entered not guilty pleas to murdering Mr McKeown on August 19, 2019, and possessing two firearms and a quantity of ammunition with intent to endanger life.

No trial date was set and O'Brien and Martin were released on continuing bail.

Two co-defendants, Stevie Lee Watson (33), of Princeton Avenue, Lurgan, and Simon Apsley Smyth (32), of Hazelgrove Avenue, Lurgan, were not arraigned on Friday on the two charges.

Mr Justice O'Hara was told both men are challenging the prosecution case against them and a hearing for their ‘No Bill’ applications have been listed for next month.

Mr McKeown was murdered outside Dewarts service station in Waringstown, Co Down.

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The 54-year-old was shot six times in the head and body as he sat in his car during the fatal attack.

At a previous hearing, prosecutors said CCTV footage showed a dark blue Volkswagen Passat speeding away from the garage within a minute of the shooting.

About ten minutes later that car was set on fire at Glenavon Lane in Lurgan, with two men in boiler suits seen running away.


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