Man pleads not guilty to killing sister's partner

A 25-YEAR-OLD man accused of killing his sister's partner during a dispute at his family's Euleilah home has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Lucas John Scot Bell, 25, is accused of causing the death of his sister Lori's boyfriend, Caine Hammond, 27, in April 2012.

In his opening address, Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said 17 witnesses would give evidence throughout the trial about the night Mr Hammond was knocked unconscious and never woke up again, dying two days later in hospital.

Hammond died as the result of a subdural haemorrhage and the prosecution will allege the brain injury came as a result of Bell either striking him, or causing him to hit his head on the ground.

Mr Cummings said the witness accounts of the evening varied but he expected most to say the incident began with an argument outside which led to Mr Hammond and Bell becoming involved in a brawl inside the home a short time later.

He told the jury that to convict Bell of murder, they needed to be satisfied of three things.

The first being that Mr Hammond was dead, an issue defence barrister John McInnes said was certainly not being disputed. The second was that Bell caused Mr Hammond's death.

"Finally... that at the time, he intended to cause his death or grievous bodily harm," Mr Cummings said.

He said if the jury was only satisfied of the first two points, they could find Bell guilty of manslaughter, but if they were satisfied of all three points, he could be convicted of murder.

Mr McInnes reiterated the importance of establishing Bell's intent.

"Try to put yourself in Mr Bell's position at the time the events are actually unfolding," Mr McInnes told the jury.

"What would a reasonable person have foreseen happening?"

A Gladstone police officer who attended the crime scene was the first to give evidence, detailing the layout of the home.

The trial continues before Justice Duncan McMeekin.


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