Murder accused lived near victim, court told
The three people accused of murdering a Taranaki farmworker lived on the same road as the alleged victim, it can be revealed.
The body of Jacob Mills Ramsay, 33, was found at an Upper Kina Rd property — where he was believed to be residing — in Oaonui, South Taranaki, on July 31.
Name suppression protecting the identities of the trio who have been charged with his death has now lapsed.
The murder accused are William Candy, 39, Ethan Webster, 18, and Jodie Hughes, 30.
According to court documents, Candy and Hughes live together at an Upper Kina Rd property, while Webster also lives on the road but at a different address.
While all three have been charged with murder, Candy and Hughes are also accused of kidnapping Ramsay, and Hughes is additionally charged with burglary.
On Friday last week, the trio appeared via audio-visual link from prison custody in the High Court at New Plymouth — their second court appearance on the matter since they were arrested and charged.
All three entered deemed notguilty pleas to their respective charges.
Previous name suppression orders lapsed at the hearing and further orders were not sought.
Justice Rebecca Ellis remanded the accused back into custody until a case review hearing on October 21.
However, Hughes’ lawyer Patrick Mooney said an application for bail would be made for her at a later date.
A trial date has been set down for August 23, 2023, and it is expected to run for three weeks.
The public gallery was at capacity with family members of the accused, and Ramsay’s wife attending the hearing via audio-visual link.
Ramsay was the father of Lucus, 11, Hunter, 5, and Olliver, who is due in six weeks.
His wife Sarah Ramsay was in Waikato for an appointment with her midwife when she learned of her husband’s death.
Following the arrests, Detective Inspector Brent Matuku said police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the case.
But the investigation continues, he said.
“We do still want to hear from anyone that saw Jacob around the O¯ akura area in the days leading up to his death,” Matuku said.
“His family deserve to understand what led to Jacob’s death and we are committed to giving them that peace of mind.”
The investigation into Ramsay’s death is one of five active homicide inquiries in Taranaki.