17 Sep 2019

Man accused of Raglan killing not fit to plead

10:53 am on 17 September 2019

The High Court has heard that a man accused of killing an Australian tourist near Raglan on 16 August is not at this stage mentally fit to instruct a lawyer or enter a plea.

Another sister, Mary, is at  the rear. 
Australian tourist Sean McKinnon was fatally shot near Raglan on 16 August 2019.

Lachlan and Emmeline McKinnon, brother and sister of Sean McKinnon. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

The 23-year-old man is accused of shooting 33-year-old Sean McKinnon.

He is also charged with aggravated robbery, threatening to kill Mr McKinnon's partner, Bianca Buckley and driving while disqualified.

Mr McKinnon died after shots were fired into a campervan he and Ms Buckley were sleeping in.

His body was discovered in the van about 80-kilometres away, just north of Hamilton.

The accused's case was called in the High Court in Hamilton on Tuesday, but he was excused from personally appearing.

The court heard that he was not able to instruct his lawyer and that no plea would be entered.

Justice Lang, appearing by AVL, remanded him in custody until 29 October for a case review hearing where his mental state and fitness to plea will be discussed.

Interim name suppression continues.

A trial date has been set for 16 November next year.