SUPREME COURT TRIAL AWAITS EDWARDS
Grafton man pleads not guilty to murder of estranged wife
A GRAFTON man has been ordered to face a Supreme Court trial after pleading not guilty to murdering his estranged partner.
John Wallace Edwards, 62, has been accused of the murder of Sharon Margaret Edwards at Grafton, on the NSW north coast, in March 2015.
In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Mr Edwards pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Edwards.
“Not guilty your honour,” Mr Edwards told the court via audio-visual link from Long Bay Jail.
Justice Elizabeth Fullerton made a provisional listing for a six-week trial to be held at Coffs Harbour starting October 21, 2019.
Mr Edwards, wearing prison greens and sporting a long beard, made notes using a pen and paper at times during the brief arraignment.
He is accused of murdering his estranged wife, a local school teacher, after she disappeared following a night out at a hotel in South Grafton.
Within weeks of her disappearance police said they suspected foul play and by April 2015 had upgraded the case to a murder investigation.
At the same time police scoured the area looking in dams and local waterways for signs of his wife’s body.
In March 2016 police named Mr Edwards as a suspect in the murder investigation.
In June 2017 Mr Edwards was arrested in Queensland and extradited to NSW to face charges relating to his wife’s death.
His case will return to court on February 8.
TRIAL: John Edwards.