Lu Na McKinney Wiki
Lu Na McKinney Biography
Who was Lu Na McKinney ?
A “cold and callous” killer who murdered his wife on a family boating vacation in County Fermanagh has been told that he must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison.
Stephen McKinney, 45, of Strabane in Tyrone County, was sentenced Thursday after being convicted of the murder of Lu Na McKinney.
The body of 35 years old, a mother of two children, was found in Lough Erne in April 2017.
Her family said that the sentence handed down to her husband brought some justice, but that they would never get over the loss of her.
Speaking out of court in Belfast, Det Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) described McKinney as a “cold and insensitive killer … a coward”.
“Lu Na’s death was a cold-blooded, cruel and calculated murder,” he said.
Stephen McKinney claimed his wife had fallen on Lough Erne
The couple and their two young children had moored their boat at a jetty on Devenish Island in Lough Erne during an Easter vacation.
McKinney claimed that his wife had fallen into the water after coming on deck to check the mooring lines.
He said that he had gone into the water after her, grabbing her at first, but that she let go of his hold and dove under the water.
The prosecution described McKinney as “a controlling, manipulative and coercive man” who had grown tired of his wife.
They said that the story he told the police was a lie to cover up a carefully planned and planned murder.
In their statement, Ms McKinney’s family thanked the PSNI investigation team and everyone involved in securing a conviction against their killer.
“As a family, we have endured four very difficult years, it has made it more difficult to live so far away from the investigation and the trial,” they said.
“We are grateful that Lu Na had so many people fighting for her.
“The result of this judicial process has brought us some justice, it does not change the fact that Lu Na was taken from us so cruelly and we will never be able to see her, speak to her or have Lu Na be part of our family celebrations.
“We all love Lu Na and will miss her forever.”
‘Deprived of their mother’s love’
In sentencing McKinney, the judge said the killer had left a trail of destruction.
“Two young children have been deprived of their mother’s love, care and support,” he said.
“As a result of his actions, he has left the children without parents to care for them and their lives have been irreparably damaged.
“You have also deprived a mother of her only child and caused endless hurt and pain by your cruel and callous actions.”
The McKinney family had been on a boat trip when Lu Na was killed.
The judge told McKinney that he had committed a cold-blooded murder, which was carefully planned and mercilessly executed when his wife was completely defenseless.
She paid tribute to the “tenacious detective work” of the investigation team, highlighting in particular the work of an officer who died with Covid-19 before the trial began.
“If it hadn’t been for meticulous, thorough and painstaking detective work … the defendant might well have gotten away with it,” the judge said.
PSNI’s Mr. Corrigan praised the “dedication and tenacity” of his officers and expert witnesses “who used innovative techniques” to help bring the killer to justice.
“I know that today’s sentence will never bring Lu Na back, however, I hope that this result will bring some kind of comfort to her family,” he said.
“Stephen McKinney thought that he had silenced Lu Na, he had not. The police spoke for her and found justice.”
As he was removed from court on Thursday, McKinney continued to protest his innocence.
“I am innocent. I did not do this,” he said.
Lynne Carlin, deputy director of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), said Mc Kinney had carefully planned and carried out the murder of his wife.
“Every murder causes great anguish and pain,” Ms. Carlin said.
“This case, in which McKinney murdered his wife while his two young children slept aboard the ship, is particularly disturbing.”