A SEVENTEEN-year-old male has appeared in court and become the sixth person to be charged with murder following the death of Carlisle man Lee McKnight.
Four people, who are all from the city and include a mother and daughter, were initially charged with the alleged murder of 26-year-old Mr McKnight. His body was found in the river Caldew, in the Blackwell Hall area near Cummersdale, on the early morning of July 24.
Cumbria police announced last Wednesday that a 25-year-old man from Carlisle had become the fifth person to be charged with murder. He appeared before magistrates that day and in front of a judge at the city’s crown court last Friday.
A 17-year-old youth from the city appeared in front of District Judge Gerald Chalk this morning (WED) at North and West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle.
The male, who can’t be identified because of his age, spoke only to confirm his age and date of birth. Previously accused of assisting an offender, he listened on a video link as the court clerk announced that he now faced a further charge which alleges the murder of Mr McKnight on July 24.
Prosecutor John Moran confirmed: “He has been charged with murder.”
No plea was entered by the youth, who is next due to appear at Carlisle Crown Court this coming Friday for a further hearing to progress the case. In the meantime he was remanded into secure accommodation by District Judge Chalk.
The five adults already jointly facing that murder charge – three men and two women – are next due to appear in front of a judge at the crown court on October 12, when pleas are due to be entered. So, too, is a seventh person – a 40-year-old woman – who faces a charge alleging that she assisted an offender.
A trial date has been provisionally listed for May next year and, it is estimated, will last around five weeks.
T/Detective Superintendent David Stalker said: “This is a live investigation and we believe there are members of the community who may hold valuable information that could assist in securing justice for Lee and his family. I would encourage anyone who has information to come forward. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can report details via Crimestoppers.”
Anyone with any information can report it directly to the Durranhill incident room via the major incident public reporting site here – https://mipp.police.uk/.
Anyone with information can also contact police by calling 101 and ask to speak to an officer from the North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, quoting incident number 36 of 24 July. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.