Widow of man shot dead five years ago hails arrest of suspect in Spain

The widow of a father of three who was shot dead five years ago has told of her relief that a man charged with his murder has been arrested in Spain after 15 months on the run.

Dubliner Dean Evans (27) was one of three men charged in connection with the murder of dissident Republican Peter Butterly (35) on March 6, 2013 - writes independent.ie

But days before he was due to face trial in January 2017, Evans disappeared along with his girlfriend, Stacey Roche. She had previously been the girlfriend of slain Real IRA chief Alan Ryan (32) who was shot dead in 2012.

The Special Criminal Court in Dublin issued a warrant for the arrest of Evans, of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, after he failed to appear to face trial in January last year.

He was arrested yesterday in the company of Roche in Fuengirola. Roche was not arrested.

Speaking later yesterday, Butterley's widow, Eithne, said she had waited for this day for a long time.

"I knew this day would come, and I have waited patiently. I had full faith in the gardaí. I was very emotional when I heard the news. I was shaking and crying," she added.

"In a sense he did the prosecution case a favour by going on the run. Not only did he cement his own guilt, but he cemented the guilt of the others facing trial. He hung them out to dry essentially."

Evans, along with Edward McGrath (35) and Sharif Kelly (46), was due to stand trial on charges connected with the murder of Butterly, who was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath.

Kelly, of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan, and McGrath, of Lanndale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght, were both sentenced to life in prison for murder after they were tried in Evans' absence.

Evans will remain in detention in Spain while his extradition back to Ireland is organised, a progress that could take two to three weeks.

Eithne Butterly said she intends to attend court the first day he appears here.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

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