Murder accused told gardai housemate would be alive if he brought food home

Deivydas Zigelis, a 38-year-old Lithuanian, has pleaded not guilty to murdering him at the house
Deivydas Zigelis, a 38-year-old Lithuanian, has pleaded not guilty to murdering him at the house

A man accused of murdering his housemate told gardai that if the deceased had brought home food with the cider he bought that that day, he would still be alive.

His Central Criminal Court trial has heard that both men had spent the day drinking with another man in a house in Laois, before the accused stabbed the 26-year-old with a kitchen knife.

Alexander Karpov, who was originally from Latvia, died of a single stab wound to the heart at his home on Spa Street in Portarlington on February 15th, 2014.

Deivydas Zigelis, a 38-year-old Lithuanian, has pleaded not guilty to murdering him at the house. However, he has pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.

Detective Garda Barry McPaul gave evidence yesterday of interviewing the accused following his arrest. The trial had heard that Mr Zigelis had called the emergency services and admitted to the stabbing in interviews.

He told detectives that he and his housemate worked during the week on rubbish collection trucks. He worked five days and the deceased worked three days.

He said they used to spend their weekends drinking alcohol, averaging three or four bottles of vodka and 20 cans of cider per weekend.

He said a friend joined them drinking in their home that particular morning. The deceased and this man drank vodka and he drank cider ‘because my heart was paining me that day’.

“I was playing Xbox,” he said. “Alexander said something to me. Before thinking about it, I picked up a knife and stabbed him. About 30 minutes later, I called gardai.”

He said that he couldn’t understand what his housemate had said to him because ‘he was too drunk’ but that it had annoyed him.

“He often picks on me when drunk. He’s very annoying,” he explained.

He said that they had not fought before the stabbing.

“I only told him to shut up. He wouldn’t. About 50 times, I told him,” he said. “I told him I’d hit him.”

He said they’d lived together for three years and were good friends. They cooked together and never argued.

“Why not box him? Why stab him?” asked the gardai.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “It just worked out that way.”

The investigators asked him what his housemate was saying that had annoyed him so much.

“Just gibberish,” he replied. “When he’s drunk, he’s always walking around shouting. I couldn’t even watch TV…. Every time he’s drunk, he annoys people. He goes around breaking things.”

He was asked if Mr Karpov had annoyed him before.

“He had in the past, but I’d just hit him over the head,” he said, explaining that they would punch each other every weekend.

Asked why he didn’t move out, he replied that the rent was cheap and he had nowhere else to go.

Detectives asked him what his intention was when he stabbed Mr Karpov.

“Just to shut him up so he wouldn’t annoy me anymore,” he said. “I didn’t want to hurt him.”

The court heard that the deceased left the house a number of times that day to get alcohol. In his sixth and final interview, the accused said that when he returned the final time, he told the deceased to go back out for food.

However, Mr Karpov just sat on the couch drinking, he said, and it was after this that they began arguing.

“If Alexander had brought back food with the box of cider, do you think he'd be alive today?” asked the detectives.

“Yes,” he replied.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Paul Butler.

By Natasha Reid