Four Lithuanians in court charged with murdering young Italian man Joele Leotta in Maidstone flat

http://media.kentonline.co.uk/filerepository/2013/10/23/0_13185_0.jpgFour people are today expected in court accused of the murder of a young Italian man in Maidstone - as detectives continue to question two other suspects.

The Lithuanian men - who live in the town - have been charged with the murder of 20-year-old Joele Leotta, who was fatally injured at a flat in the town on Sunday night.

Aleksandras Zuravliovas, 26, of Beaumont Road; Tomas Gelezinis, 30, of Lower Stone Street; Saulius Tamoliunas, 23, of Union Street; and 21-year-old Linas Zidonis, of no fixed address, all face the same murder charge.

They have also all been charged with causing grievous bodily harm in connection with an assault on a second victim.

The four men have been remanded in custody and will appear before Medway Magistrates' Court via video link today.

Detectives confirmed a 10th man has been arrested in connection with the murder inquiry. The 30-year-old remains in custody along with a 28-year-old suspect.

Mr Leotta is understood to have only arrived in Maidstone to learn English 10 days before his death.

He is believed to have worked at Vesuvius Italian restaurant - below a flat in Lower Stone Street, where he was fatally wounded in a reported assault.

A total of 10 men have been arrested in connection with his death. Revealing just one of them is British, a police spokesman confirmed detectives are not treating the attack as racially-motivated.

Earlier, a 23-year-old man, from Maidstone, arrested on suspicion of murder was released on bail until December 12.

Another suspect, a 45-year-old man from Tonbridge, is also on bail pending further inquiries until December 16.

A 21-year-old has also been bailed and a 30-year-old has been released without charge.

Seven men were held on Sunday night after officers were called to reports of an assault at a flat above the restaurant.

Mr Leotta was taken to hospital, but later died from what are believed to have been head and chest injuries.

His family have travelled to Kent from their Italian home - believed to be in Lecco, Lombardy - to formally identify his body. 

An eighth man was arrested on Monday night and a ninth on Tuesday night.

A 30-year-old man was also arrested on Wednesday in connection with the incident, becoming the 10th suspect to be held.

The air ambulance was called to the scene when it was initially believed the victim had fallen down stairs.
Police said the teenager was taken to King's College Hospital in London, but could not be saved.
Another two people were taken to hospital - one to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury with neck, head and back injuries.
A stretch of the road was closed while officers investigated and a forensic tent was set up outside the property.
Officers were seen combing through nearby bins, yards that border the flats and drains in their hunt for clues or evidence.
Police had closed a lane between Palace Avenue and Bishop's Way for investigation work.
Both roads form the A229 and are part of the Maidstone one-way system and the closure left gridlock around the town during the Monday morning rush hour.
The area around the murder investigation scene was still cordoned off by police the following day.
Witnesses spoke of their shock at waking up close to a murder investigation scene.
Adam Grove, 28, of Upper Stone Street, said: "It's mad to think this has happened right down the road. I walk past here every day. I think it's mainly foreigners who live there." 

Mike Reed, branch manager at DriveLink driver agency in Lower Stone Street, said: "We saw the white tent outside the premises and there were several police officers, probably a dozen or so, in the area.

"I spoke to a couple of the officers and looked through our bin as well. I'm very surprised this has happened."

Witnesses spoke of their shock at waking up close to a murder investigation scene.
Adam Grove, 28, of Upper Stone Street, said: "It's mad to think this has happened right down the road. I walk past here every day. I think it's mainly foreigners who live there." 

Mike Reed, branch manager at DriveLink driver agency in Lower Stone Street, said: "We saw the white tent outside the premises and there were several police officers, probably a dozen or so, in the area.

"I spoke to a couple of the officers and looked through our bin as well. I'm very surprised this has happened."

Witnesses spoke of their shock at waking up close to a murder investigation scene.
Adam Grove, 28, of Upper Stone Street, said: "It's mad to think this has happened right down the road. I walk past here every day. I think it's mainly foreigners who live there." 

Mike Reed, branch manager at DriveLink driver agency in Lower Stone Street, said: "We saw the white tent outside the premises and there were several police officers, probably a dozen or so, in the area.

"I spoke to a couple of the officers and looked through our bin as well. I'm very surprised this has happened."

Witnesses spoke of their shock at waking up close to a murder investigation scene.

Adam Grove, 28, of Upper Stone Street, said: "It's mad to think this has happened right down the road. I walk past here every day. I think it's mainly foreigners who live there." 

Mike Reed, branch manager at DriveLink driver agency in Lower Stone Street, said: "We saw the white tent outside the premises and there were several police officers, probably a dozen or so, in the area.

"I spoke to a couple of the officers and looked through our bin as well. I'm very surprised this has happened."

By Anna Young

 

 
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