Court rules on whether teen will face murder charge

A TEENAGER co-accused of the stabbing murder of a man at Aurukun which sparked a riot has been committed to stand trial despite his lawyer's bid to have his case thrown out.

The 18-year-old, who was 17 when the 37-year-old was allegedly killed in the Cape York community on January 1 this year, was charged over his death alongside another male who is currently 19.

The older man was committed to stand trial for murder in the Cairns Magistrates Court last week.

Houses burn during riots in Aurukun on January 1.
Houses burn during riots in Aurukun on January 1.


But the younger teen's defence barrister Michael Dalton had disputed his involvement and filed a no case submission, arguing his client had engaged in a fight with the victim, but was not involved in the stabbing.

During the committal hearing the court heard the entire incident had been captured on CCTV.

While handing down his decision on Wednesday, Magistrate Terence Browne said the video showed the younger man was initially sitting on a fence during a large fight, but could be seen climbing off the fence and arming himself with what appeared to be a pick axe.

He said he then engaged in a fistfight with the 37-year-old which continued shortly after the other alleged offender approached the victim from behind and stabbed him in the back.

One of the houses destroyed during riots in Aurukun on New Year.
One of the houses destroyed during riots in Aurukun on New Year.

The court heard from several witnesses during last week's committal hearing who told of seeing the teen allegedly attempt to block the victim's path as he attempted to leave after being stabbed.

Another witness, the teen's former partner, told the court she heard him yell "let's kill him" prior to the stabbing.

Magistrate Browne said there was also evidence regarding previous altercations the teen had with the victim.

CCTV of houses burning in Aurukun.
CCTV of houses burning in Aurukun.

"I've concluded based on the evidence that the Crown has discharged its duty and shown the defendant does have a case to answer," he said.

A date for the teens' trials is yet to be set.

The man's death led to a massive riot in the community which saw several homes torched and multiple people flee the community.

Magistrate Browne told the court it was alleged the fight broke out when the intoxicated victim and his brother had gone out seeking retribution for a fight earlier in the day.

Originally published as Court rules on whether teen will face murder charge


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