Three men, formally charged with the murder of Chinese restaurant owner Nelson Cheung who was stabbed 17 times, were remanded in custody by Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The trio, were remanded along with the wife of one of them, on charges arising out of the murderous robbery attack on 65-year-old owner of the Double Value Chinese restaurant in Randalstown, Co Antrim, and the attempted murder of his 57-year-old wife, Winnie.
They are, 33-year-old man Portuguese national, Virgilio Agusto Fernando Corria, of Grant Avenue, Randalstown, 32-year-old Gary William Thompson, an engineer of Cunningham Way, Antrim and 25-year-old Christopher David Menaul, unemployed of Barra Street, Antrim.
They deny the murder of the Chinese businessman, attempting to murder Mrs Cheung, the attempted robbery of Mr Cheung and the robbery of a handbag, ipad, iphone, £200 in cash and Ulster Bank and American Express cards.
Menaul is also accused of burglary at a house on the Magheralane Road between January 6 and January 9 last.
Appearing in court with them was Thompson’s 32-year-old wife Lisa, a care assistant also of Cunningham Way, Antrim, accused of handling stolen goods and perverting the course of justice.
A detective inspector who told District Judge Joe Rice he believed he could connect the accused with the offences, revealed that Mr Cheung was stabbed 17 times, and that his wife Winnie had been stabbed in the hand.
All four accused are to appear again before Antrim Crown Court via video link on February 10 next.
The couple had been heading home to Ballymena shortly after midnight last Thursday from their Chinese takeaway business after closing up for the night.
As they headed along the rural Caddy Road, on the outskirts of Randalstown, their vehicle was ambushed by two other cars which forced them off the road.
In a separate development earlier today, (Thurs) police said a 16-year-old female and a 14-year-old male arrested by detectives in connection with the crime, had been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.