16 Jun 2012

Jury hears of conflicting statements from crime scene

5:40 am on 16 June 2012

A court has heard a police statement made by the man accused of shooting Feilding farmer Scott Guy dead which contradicts trial evidence given earlier by the dead man's sister.

Detective Graeme Parsons read the statement while giving evidence at the trial of Ewen Macdonald on Friday.

Mr Macdonald, 32, is on trial at the High Court in Wellington charged with murdering his brother-in-law on 8 July 2010 over what the Crown says were rivalries over the running of the family farm. Scott Guy, 31, had been shot twice.

The defence says while Mr Macdonald acknowledged that he had damaged property belonging to Scott Guy and his wife Kylee, that does not make him a murderer.

Nikki Guy earlier told the court that at the crime scene Ewen Macdonald had a disagreement with David Berry, who found the body.

She said Mr Berry said her brother's throat had been cut, but Mr Macdonald insisted that he had been shot.

In a statement read to the court on Friday, Mr Macdonald told police he did not find out exactly how Scott Guy had died until the day after the killing.

The accused said on the night of the murder, Bryan Guy said he thought his son had been shot and asked him what he thought.

Mr Macdonald said he told Mr Guy he had not got close enough to the body to tell what had happened.

Accused wondered if bullet meant for him, court told

The court was told Ewen Macdonald told police he initially wondered whether the bullet might have been meant for him.

Detective Graeme Parsons said he asked Mr Macdonald if he knew of anyone with a grievance against the Guy family and the accused mentioned a Fijian man who had been seeing Nikki Guy.

Mr Macdonald said that after he and his wife had told the Fijian man he was not welcome in their home, the man had told other people in Feilding that they were trying to break up the relationship, but that wasn't going to happen.

Mr Parsons said Ewen Macdonald told him he was not aware of Scott Guy having any dispute with the Fijian man.

The court was told of a trip that Ewen Macdonald and Scott Guy took to Invercargill. Mr Parsons says the accused told police that the pair got on well while away at a farming conference.

Mr Parsons said Mr Macdonald told him he and Mr Guy shared a room and they were both on the same page when it came to ideas and opportunities to improve the farm.

He said Mr Macdonald told him they both came back from the conference on a high.

Police 'misled' over arson attacks

Police transcripts show Ewen Macdonald misled investigators about arson attacks he had carried out.

Mr Macdonald has acknowledged setting fire to Scott Guy's property, spray-painting abuse on his home and sending him threatening letters.

But in a transcript of a police interview after Mr Guy was killed, which was read in court on Thursday, he claimed he had no idea the arson had even happened until Mr Guy's father told him.

Later in the interview, Mr Macdonald said he had been out of town when Mr Guy's new home was vandalised. He blamed both crimes on local young people.