By Constantinos Psillides
THE 17-YEAR-OLD from Larnaca who murdered Michael Anthony Louis Mina, 22, in November last year gave an unsworn statement to the court yesterday, claiming that he deeply regretted the act and that he didn’t mean for the victim to die.
The teen said that he felt guilty and since the day his lawyer showed him photos from the morgue, he sees Mina’s face every night when he goes to sleep.
“I cried bitterly over what happened. I wish I could turn back time but I can’t,” he said. He and the victim had known each other since they were 12 and used to “hang out” together.
The teenager also spoke of his descent into drug use.
“I started off with weed then in two to three months moved to MDMA, cocaine, crystal meth and crack while at the same time drinking alcohol. In the beginning I didn’t pay for drugs but in the end I had to resort to theft to come up with money to support my addiction,” he said.
According to the police report on the case, the 17-year-old has been the subject of investigation in at least 64 cases of car theft and burglary.
“Drug abuse landed me in the mental institution four times, I have been to jail, stolen from family, burned my house down and alienated myself from almost everyone. No matter how many times I try to quit, I always had this Cerberus eating my insides,” said, adding that over the last two years he used to carry a knife with him at all times, fearing for his life.
Regarding the reasons that led to the confrontation with Mina, the 17-year-said he was dating Mina’s ex-girlfriend and that the victim wanted to get back with her and leave for the United States. He said that the whole thing led to a misunderstanding between him and the victim.
He said that on November 14 the girl escorted him to the Larnaca police station for one of his cases when Mina drove by and cursed at her. The teen then said he resolved to clear up the misunderstanding by meeting Mina but that he didn’t plan for him to die.
“On the day of the murder I did a lot of drugs. From the moment I woke up I did coke laced with amphetamine, I did crack, smoked weed and drank beer with two friends. We were driving around Larnaca when at around 4.30pm we parked at a park near Mina’s home and waited for him to come.”
The 17-year-old testified that when he saw the 22-year-old arrive home he approached him and called his name.
“When he turned back I saw something like a blade in his hand. I got my knife out and try it to scare him, I didn’t mean to kill him. He ducked, lost his balance and my knife was accidentally stuck in his throat,” he said, adding that he fled the scene in panic.
“I didn’t know what to do, everything happened so fast. I was shocked, I didn’t want to be a killer.”
The 17-year-old then told the court that he proceeded to hide the murder weapon and the clothes he wore. When his lawyer called him and advised him to tell police everything, he said he cooperated fully with police, admitted to the crime and pointed out where he hid the knife and clothes.
Giving an unsworn statement to the court means that the witness cannot be cross-examined. A defendant has the right to either remain silent, give an unsworn statement or a sworn testimony.