Accused murderer ‘ argued with victim’
AN Innisfail man accused of killing a Mysterton man was allegedly drinking with the deceased and arguing with him over alcohol the night before his body was found.
The committal hearing of Alan Brian Wood, 37, who is accused of the murder of Michael James McGrath, 51, started yesterday in the Townsville Magistrates Court in front of Magistrate Peter Smid.
Police prosecutor Helen Armitage called Wesley Joseph Mabo to the stand.
Mr Mabo shared a rental property in Kings Rd, Mysterton with five others including Mr McGrath who was found dead on March 28, 2010, inside the home.
Mr Mabo said he returned from work at 10pm Saturday and was twice woken by arguing between Mr McGrath and another male whose voice he did not recognise.
‘‘ There were raised voices, a bit of arguing and swearing,’’ he said.
Mr Mabo said that at 4.30am he was woken again by the noise and greeted on the stairs by a gentleman he did not know on the stairs, but whom he identified in the courtroom as Mr Wood.
‘‘ He told me pretty much what happened, they were arguing about money . . . along the lines of ‘ I shouted him $ 100 worth of charge ( alcohol) so I could stay over’,’’ he said.
The housemate then saw Mr McGrath through the half-opened bedroom door slumped over at the edge of the bed, uninjured but ‘‘ really intoxicated and not moving’’.
The committal also heard from Constable James Wood ( no relation to the accused), who was one of two policemen who arrested Mr Wood in the car park of the Mundingburra IGA shopping complex on Sunday at 9.30am.
Const Wood said they were tasked to find a man who had been calling 000 telling them his location and that he was armed with a knife.
When the officers arrived they moved in after seeing the defendant sitting on the kerb with a mobile phone to his ear and what looked like a blood stain on his shorts.
Under cross-examination by defence barrister Tony Collins, the constable said he had no idea the 000 caller they were looking for ‘‘ claimed to have killed someone earlier that morning’’ and thought the man they took into custody had been arrested for breaching the peace.
Const Wood gave evidence a knife was never found and the defendant’s demeanour seemed a little odd before his arrest.
‘‘ He jumped straight up and walked towards us ( when we arrived) . . . he appeared to be quite friendly, just overly joyful in some ways,’’ Const Wood said.
Mr Collins told the court his client had a blood alcohol reading of 0.14 per cent six hours after his arrest.
The committal continues today.