The Dominion Post
Not-guilty plea prompts tears
A PLEA of not guilty from a woman charged with murdering Hutt Valley man Matthew Stevens has been greeted with sobs in the High Court at Wellington.
The body of Stevens, 32, was found beside his car on Paekakariki Hill Road, north of Wellington, early on November 28.
Kelly Leigh Crook yesterday pleaded not guilty to murdering Stevens on November 27. Crook had her custody on Sunday.
The small public gallery was packed with people, including members of Stevens’ family and supporters of Crook and the two men jointly charged with her. Several people cried when Crook said: ‘‘Not guilty’’.
Justice Simon France refused to release her on electronically monitored bail.
Stuart Graham Wilton, 27, and Darrin John Wilkie-Morris, 24, who are also charged with murdering Stevens, were not at court yesterday but their lawyers said the hearing could go ahead in their absence. They will be asked to plead at the next hearing in April. The men were also remanded in custody. The judge said a trial was likely to be heard late this year or early next year.