A 48-year-old man who stabbed 58-year-old Saulius Badgziunas in the back and attempted to hide his body has been found guilty of murder.
The jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard how Rolandas Karbauskas, 48, of School Lane in Broadholme, had stabbed Saulius following a disagreement.
The court heard how a family friend had found Saulius lying on his back on the ground behind the garage at around 12.50pm on Monday, 14 March. Believing he was unwell, the friend called 999 and performed CPR. Despite efforts of emergency workers at the scene, Saulius, who was described as a loving grandfather and father, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.30pm.
Saulius had not suffered a heart attack as suspected. He had been murdered.
He was found to have suffered a single stab wound to the back, as well as other blunt force injuries. The court heard that evidence revealed how he had been stabbed elsewhere and dragged along the ground to his final resting place.
His murderer, who lived in a caravan at the rear of the secluded property, was at the property when the body was found and was described as being “out of it”, but not drunk. He consistently denied the offence.
The house was shared by the victim, his daughter and her two children who she shared with her partner, and her partner’s mother, who was Karbauskas’ aunt. Karbauskas, who was described in court as a man “who liked a drink”, would regularly eat his meals with the others in the house or come to the house for a beer.
A thorough investigation by forensics experts and investigators from Lincolnshire Police and the East Midlands Specialist Operations Unit (EMSOU), revealed damning evidence pointing to Karbauskas guilt.
Officers searching the property found a black puffa jacket on the decking near one of the caravans – which only Karbauskas lived in. When he was taken away from the scene by police, the court heard how Karbauskas chose not to wear this coat. Instead, he put on a brand new jacket – so new, he had to take the tags off it.
Forensic testing later revealed that the jacket had Karbauskas’ DNA on the inside collar, and his blood on the inside front right pocket, while the victim’s blood was found on the outside of the jacket. This DNA proved the Karbauskas had worn it.
The murder weapon, a double-edged 35.5cm knife, was found at the property in rear garden in red plastic bowl. It had the victim’s blood on the blade and Karbauskas’ DNA was found on the handle. The scabbard that the knife would have been stored with was located under Karbauskas’ bed in the caravan that he occupied about a month after the incident.
The court was also played an audio recording which had been captured on cameras installed at the property close to where some of the victim’s blood had been found a distance away from where his body was recovered. The audio was of Karbauskas saying “bleed to death” and uttering the words “I told you I would bury you alive”. The victim was heard to moan and say “Pull it out, Ruli”, a nickname used for Karbauskas.
The trial took place over the past two weeks, and a jury returned the verdict today after just under ten hours of deliberations.
Lead investigator Detective Inspector Adrian Czajkowski from EMSOU, said: “This was a brutal and callous murder of Saulius. On the 14 March 2022 at his home which he shared with his family in the village of Broadholme, he was mercilessly stabbed in his back with a dagger by Rolandas Karbauskas. Not content with his savage actions, he then dragged Saulius down the garden in an attempt to conceal his body out of sight by depositing him behind a large wooden shed before the family returned home.
“Our thoughts are with his daughter and her family. They have lost a devoted father and grandfather and struggle to understand why. I hope that today’s verdict will secure justice for Saulius. I wish to thank the family and witnesses who have come forward to support the investigation. I also want to thank the officers and staff from Lincolnshire Police and the team at EMSOU who have pulled this complex and emotive investigation together.”
Karbauskas will be sentenced on Friday this week (11 November).