A YouTuber set up a fake livestream to give him an alibi for murdering a pregnant woman, prosecutors say
A YouTuber was accused of setting up a livestream to cover for a murder.
A court in Northern Ireland heard allegations that Stephen McCullagh pre-recorded the video.
Prosecutors say that as the video ran he was carrying out the murder of Natalie McNally, who was pregnant.
A YouTuber staged a fake livestream of himself playing "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" to give himself an alibi for the murder of a pregnant woman, prosecutors in the UK alleged on Thursday.
They accused Stephen McCullagh of setting up the stream to divert suspicion from killing Natalie McNally, who was 15 weeks pregnant when she was killed on December 18, 2022.
Media outlets including the BBC, the Guardian, and the Belfast Telegraph covered a hearing at a court in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, at which McCullagh's request to be released on bail was denied.
Per the reports, the court was told that McCullagh's livestream ran for six hours on the same night McNally was stabbed to death in her home.
The Guardian said that a senior police investigator, Neil McGuinness, told the court that technical analysis determined that the footage was pre-recorded.
In the stream, McCullagh claimed several times that the video was live but said he could not respond to the video's live chat due to a technical glitch.
Per the Belfast Telegraph, McCullagh later admitted that the stream was a deception, giving a statement to police that it was recorded on December 13 or December 14, around four days before the killing.
In the hearing, prosecutors accused McCullagh of a "sophisticated, calculated and cool-headed plot" and said he was "capable of deception beyond imagination," per the Guardian.
The court also heard that McCullagh left his phone in McNally's family home after the killing to record audio and figure out whether whether they suspected him, per the Guardian.
The BBC said that a lawyer for McCullagh defended him, arguing that the details of the livestream were not a strong basis for suspecting him of the killing.
McCullagh was in the hearing but did not speak, several outlets noted.
McNally's family held a rally in her name organized by The National Women's Council on January 28, the Guardian noted.
"Natalie was a remarkable person. From the age of three she lived with type 1 diabetes," McNally's brother Brendan told the crowd. "She was delighted to be becoming a mother for the first time. For any young person living with diabetes in Northern Ireland, Natalie is an ideal inspiration."
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