Man allegedly murdered over $10,000 meth deal
A $10,000 meth deal gone wrong was allegedly behind the killing of an Oakey man in the car park of the Porter Plainlands Hotel, an Ipswich court has heard.
A pathologist told a committal hearing on Wednesday that the likely cause of death for 53-year-old Paul Rock was multiple stab wounds.
Seated in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court, Mr Rock's accused killers Beau Andrew John Smith, 28, and Kye Enright, 22, sat silently during the two-hour hearing as their legal defence counsel cross-examined four witnesses.
Smith and Enright are each charged with the murder of Paul Rock at Plainlands on July 1, 2019; unlawful use of a motor vehicle without authority to commit the offence of murder; unlawful supply of an illegal drug GBH (gamma hydroxybutyrate); and robbery in company/armed with a knife.
Enright is also charged with arson of a motor vehicle on July 13, 2019.
In the committal, DPP legal officer Courtney Brown asked pathologist Dr Christopher Day what the potential cause of death was.
"Multiple stab wounds to the left arm and right lower limb," Dr Day said.
There had been up to nine stabbing injuries to Mr Rock's thigh, and four to the left shoulder, with one wound cutting a major artery.
Smith's defence barrister Angus Edwards asked if the level of methylamphetamine found in Mr Rock's system following his death was enough to have been lethal.
Dr Day said it was very difficult to say if it would be fatal or not, and that it depended very much on a person's prior usage.
Witness Angela Marie Terry, 37, shared a house with Mr Rock (also known by the nickname "Red") and during cross-examination agreed that she phoned people trying to source ice for him.
Ms Terry said at the time she was using ice twice a day and on Sunday, June 30 - the day before his death - "Red" wanted to buy three ounces of ice and she had been surprised at the amount.
When Mr Edwards put to her that Mr Rock was said to have been getting agitated and angry because of the delays in getting the drug, she agreed.
"Not angry angry. He just wanted to know what was going on," Ms Terry said.
She told the court she had contacted another friend, Chantel Fenton, about obtaining the drug and then around midnight had contacted a man, Benjamin Burness, seeking to buy three ounces of ice for $10,000.
Ms Terry said she had become anxious about the delay, and sent a text to Mr Burness saying she was, 'f***ing getting into trouble f**k me' about it with Mr Rock.
The court heard they had intended to meet the delivery drivers at a place known as Rusty's and then the Big Orange but ended up meeting the men, allegedly Enright and Smith, at a McDonald's car park.
Ms Terry said the $10,000 had been counted at McDonald's and then "things moved on to the Plainlands pub car park".
She said everyone took 'Frank' (GBH) and Mr Rock and the two men also smoked ice.
She said Mr Rock then got into the back of the delivery men's BMW to again count the money.
She told the court Mr Rock returned to his car where she was waiting, saying he was still holding onto the money.
"I knew he'd never let it go without the drugs," she said.
When Mr Edwards asked Ms Terry if she had seen anyone with a knife, she said the only knife she knew of was one in Mr Rock's car that was used to go pigging.
She said she had picked it up in a panic when she saw a fight start between the three men.
The court heard she got out of the car with the knife but then got back inside screaming and beeping the horn.
Ms Terry said she then fled with the knife, running to the bottle shop.
In cross-examination by Mr Edwards, witness Chantel Fenton said it was 'true' that Ms Terry had been phoning around the night before the death of Mr Rock trying to obtain drugs.
She agreed Angela previously told her Mr Rock was a drug dealer.
"She said she wants to get three big ones and that it was legit. And she had counted the money," Ms Fenton said.
"She said three ounces of ice."
Ms Fenton said she later got a phone call from Ms Terry saying "Red" had been stabbed and to get out of the house.
Another witness, Benjamin Burness, appeared by phone-link to the court, saying he had contacted Beau Smith and the agreed price to be paid for the ice was $10,000.
Mr Burness said he did not know it was a man named Red trying to obtain drugs.
He agreed that originally it was only Enright who was going to deliver the drugs but due to a change of dinner plans Beau Smith also went.
Mr Burness agreed with a statement made by Mr Edwards, relating to a text message to Smith in which he asked 'have you got something on you'. And that by this he meant a weapon, the court heard.
Mr Burness agreed he also sent a text saying if he (Smith) handed anything over to them he was weak, and that by this he was referring to someone taking the drug without paying.
"Were you going to go along," Mr Edwards asked.
"Probably not. I was on curfew," Mr Burness said.
At the end of the cross-examination, Magistrate Donna MacCallum committed both Enright and Smith to stand trial on the charge of murder in the Brisbane Supreme Court on a date to fixed.
They were both remanded in custody.