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GUILTY: Bilston murderer battered friend to death with chair leg

By John Scott | Bilston | Crime | Published:

A man who bludgeoned to death a close friend in a drunken rage is facing a life sentence after being convicted of murder.

Deniss Buzmakovs, left, was killed by Aleksejs Lusnikovs, right

Aleksejs Lusnikovs unleashed an onslaught of terrifying violence on 42-year-old Deniss Buzmakovs who suffered up to 60 injuries.

The furious attacker, also aged 42 at the time, shattered a chair by hurling it against a wall and then used one of the broken legs as a weapon, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Lusnikovs hit the victim on the head and body at least ten times with it in the living room of his home in Beckett Street, Bilston, where the discovery of a rusty screw from the leg embedded in the wall indicated the force used.

More from the trial:

Mr Buzmakovs, who lived with his partner and two children in nearby Hatherton Road, suffered a traumatic brain injury when the left side of his skull was fractured by one of the blows.

This probably knocked him out early in the attack because there was no sign of defensive injuries but the violence continued.

25 rib fractures

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He had 25 fractures to 17 of his ribs some of which tore his liver in several places while his voice box, cheek and breast bone were also fractured during the September 9 onslaught.

Mr Buzmakovs was also kicked and stamped on by the defendant and marks found on the body of the victim carried the imprint of the blue Crocs worn by his attacker.

The jury took just over four hours to find Lusnikovs guilty of murder by a majority verdict this afternoon. He will be sentenced tomorrow.

Police in Bilston after Mr Buzmakovs' murder

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Mr Gregory Bull QC, defending, said in mitigation: "There is abundant evidence that these two men were on good terms prior to this.

"He was seen to greet the deceased in a friendly atmosphere. That changed when something happened while they were in the house together.

"He smashed a chair against the wall in anger during circumstances that are unclear and used one of its legs as a weapon. This was not a pre-planned attack and he regrets it bitterly."

Lusnikovs had known Mr Buzmakovs since he settled in Bilston a dozen years ago and both were known as heavy drinkers.

The victim had not seen him for a couple of months because of a change of phone before he called on him on the fateful day. He was almost three times over the drink-drive limit when he was killed.

His mother and partner declined to comment after the verdict had been announced.

Judge Michael Challinor said a life sentence was automatic but he wanted time to decide on the appropriate minimum sentence and adjourned the hearing until tomorrow.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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