Grafton man to face trial over mur­der of ex-wife

The Northern Star - - NEWS - SAM MCKEITH News­[email protected]­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

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.

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