The love triangle came to light after Giedruis Juskauskas was found bleeding to death in Whalebone Lane, a brick-lined alleyway in the neighborhood of Stratford, early on the morning of June 17. The 42-year-old had been stabbed 35 times, and wounds covered his chest, shoulders and neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene, making him one of several victims of a spate of brutal knife crimes during an unusually violent weekend in the city.
According to prosecutors, Juskauskas and Juskauskiene had been married, but, against the slain man’s wishes, divorced six months before the fatal stabbing. After splitting up, they maintained a sexual relationship and stayed in close contact. The two had a 5-year-old daughter together, and Juskauskas, who was helping to support the girl financially, was a regular presence at his ex-wife’s house.
But Juskauskiene had other romantic interests. In February, she married a Lithuanian prisoner named Andrius Semionovas, according to the Telegraph. The inmate was slated to be released the following month, and Juskauskiene figured that he could move to London and join her once he was free. But that plan fell through, the paper reported, because Semionovas was stopped and deported while trying to get into the United Kingdom.
Juskauskiene moved on, although it’s not clear whether she ever filed for divorce. Through her long-distance lover, she had met another man, 25-year-old Mantas Kvedaras, who was also doing a brief prison stint in Lithuania. They began talking online, and their relationship “developed into one that was obviously sexual,” prosecutor Hugh Davies told the court Tuesday.
Before they had met in person, Juskauskiene reportedly told a friend that Kvedaras had fallen in love with her. On May 29, after he was freed from prison, she traveled to Stockholm to meet him for the first time. Two weeks later, he joined her in London, entering into a collision course with her ex-husband.
“In their different ways each man felt that they had claims over Asta Juskauskiene,” Davies said, according to the Telegraph. “The situation was inevitably going to come to a head. It did come to a head in Whalebone Lane on that Monday morning.”
Jurgita Sulciene, the friend in whom Juskauskiene confided, later told police that she tried to warn her that it would be “dangerous” if her ex-husband ever showed up at the house and discovered another man there. Juskauskas was “a very jealous person,” she wrote in a statement, and it was almost guaranteed that a fight would break out.
The fatal confrontation took place just days after Kvedaras arrived in London. It wasn’t a chance meeting, Davies said. Both men were far from their homes, and phone records showed that they had been in touch throughout the day leading up to the killing.
Kvedaras has admitted to committing the killing, according to U.K. media outlets. But prosecutors contend that Juskauskiene was the one who egged him on. She reportedly told her friend that the two were going to battle to decide who would win her affections, and allegedly encouraged her new boyfriend to “use serious violence” against her ex-husband.
“This was not a fistfight that escalated: It was a murderous assault with a single bladed knife with death as the inevitable outcome,” Davies added.
After the slaying, Juskauskiene tried to help cover up her lover’s tracks, prosecutors say. She reportedly brought Kvedaras back to her house and helped him get rid of important paperwork, then deleted potentially incriminating text messages from her phone, prosecutors say. She also allegedly lied repeatedly to the police about the crime and attempted to distance herself from the bloodshed.
Attorneys for Juskauskiene have yet to publicly comment or present their side of the case, which is ongoing.