Scott Guy murder case: Day one

Last updated 17:25 05/06/2012

Scott Guy Trial

Ewen Macdonald
MURDER-ACCUSED: Ewen Macdonald, Scott Guy's brother-in-law.

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The Scott Guy murder trial started in the High Court in Wellington today. Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Kerry Macdonald, 32, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Guy on July 8, 2010. Guy was shot dead outside his Aorangi Rd farmhouse near Feilding. The trial is expected to take a month.

LATEST: Crown prosecutors Ben Vanderkolk and Paul Murray are prosecuting. Criminal lawyer Greg King is representing Macdonald. Manawatu barrister Peter Coles is also part of the defence.

We have live updates throughout the trial.

5.21pm Neighbour thought Guy's throat was cut

A neighbour of the Guy family farm found Scott Guy's body outside the driveway of his home and thought his throat had been cut.

David Berry, who lived on Aorangi Rd in Feilding, had been on his way to work as a truck driver when he saw the lights from Scott Guy's car on July 8, 2010.

As he drove past he saw Mr Guy's boots and slammed to a stop before hurrying over.

"I checked his pulse but he was quite cold.''

"I thought his throat had been cut,'' he told the jury.

Mr Berry said Mr Guy's vehicle was still running and the driver's door open.

He is expected back to complete his evidence tomorrow.

Byreburn farm's assistant manager Simon Asplin had told an acquaintance Guy had pissed a lot of people off when asked who could have shot him.

Mr Asplin was at the farm on the morning Guy was shot and killed. Mr Asplin said he spoke to a man the day before the funeral and said that Guy had pissed people off.

After being at the milking shed Asplin went to shift some fences before having breakfast. He did not go to the scene and did not make any inquiries about what had happened.

When questioned by Macdonald's defence lawyer he said he was not sure where he heard that Guy had been deliberately shot or who told him.

He had had a call from Macdonald just before 7.30am but had not been told what happened.

He had thought that Matthew Ireland the other farm hand or a friend from town had told him someone had been murdered but was unable to be precise.

Asplin denied hating Guy but said they did not get on all the time and agreed he had complained about him to his sister.

3.30pm Witness: Macdonald said he had phoned Scott Guy when he did not turn up for milking

Jokes about Sleeping Beauty were made when Scott Guy did not turn up at the workshop to begin milking the morning he was fatally shot.

Simon Asplin, assistant manager on Byreburn farm, had arrived on July 8 and parked his car before see Macdonald’s headlamp approaching.

Macdonald opened the workshop and Asplin said made a comment about 'Sleeping Beauty'.

He said it was an in-house joke that Guy had sometimes not turned up for work and that 'Sleeping Beauty' referred to Guy.

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Mr Asplin said he asked Macdonald if he had rung Mr Guy after he failed to show up. He said Macdonald said he had but had got an answerphone.

After milking Asplin said he went to do some fencing but got a call between 7am and 7.30am about Guy being in an accident.

14.45pm: Jury shown boots, gun and footprints

Exhibits officer Constable Frazer McKenzie has been showing the jury dive boots, the gun from the farm office and plaster casts of footprints found at the scene.

Vanderkolk had told the jury the gun could not be excluded as the firearm used to kill Guy. It could not be matched to pellets found as no spent cartridges were found to match it to.

However he said Macdonald had access to it.

The Crown has said there were tensions between the two men over their futures on the farm which resulted in Macdonald shooting Guy twice in the early hours of the morning as he was on his way to milking.

12.52pm Defence says case an unsolved 'whodunit'

Guy’s murder was the classic whodunit which had not been solved, Macdonald’s lawyer told the jury.

In a brief opening to the jury, King said his client Macdonald did not kill Guy and the Crown had not proved who had.

He said it was not the jury’s duty to solve it, but to decide if the Crown had solved it.

King said it was murder, but not one committed by Macdonald.

Macdonald had admitted doing nasty and foolish acts such as the arson of a house and damage to Guy’s new home.

However there were timing issues about the killing that needed careful assessment, which he urged them to listen to closely.

12.37pm Prosecution: Macdonald disposed of gumboots

Distinctive rippled footprints near Guy’s body were made by dive boots like a pair owned by Macdonald, the prosecution says.

Vanderkolk told the jury that Macdonald had disposed of the pair of size 9 Proline dive boots that made the impressions and they had never been found.

Only 5 size 9 boots were in Palmerston North at the store run by Macdonald’s father.  Macdonald had spent $35 at the store in February, 2004, by credit card and later friends would say they had seen him wear the boots.

"You can conclude that the size 9 boots, Macdonald’s size, made the impressons left at the scene."

Vanderkolk said it was a circumstantial case of a planned murder.

He had the objective to kill without eye witnesses, the jury heard.

11.31am Prosecution: Killer stepped from darkness and shot

Guy’s killer stepped out of the darkness to fire two shots at him as he was standing in the headlights of his car opening a gate on his way to milking.

Vanderkolk told the jury that Guy would have appeared as a silhouette to his killer.

Vanderkolk said it was "country-dark’" in Aorangi Rd in Feilding on July 8, 2010 when Guy was heading out at 4.43am to begin milking without any source of light except the headlights from his vehicle.

He told the jury Guy was shot twice but the first was fatal.

His killer would have been known to him.

Guy’s body was found by a neighbour, on the ground, with the vehicle’s engine still running about 7am.

Initial calls mentioned Guy’s throat had been cut however Macdonald told Scott’s sister Nikki Guy that he had been shot.

Vanderkolk said no one had mentioned how Guy had died.

Impressions of footprints were found around the scene and did not match anyone at the scene, they had a wavy rippled pattern.

He said there was tension between Guy and Macdonald, about their roles on the farm, housing, cars and finances.

Macdonald began a course designed to get Guy and his wife to leave the farm for good and led to his murder, Vanderkolk said.

Notes appeared in the Guy’s letter box such as "Stay way from him Kylee you whore," and "You cheating whore. What goes around comes around.’’

Vanderkolk said these and other actions like the torching of a house on a trailer were designed to unsettle Kylee Guy.

Macdonald went on to extensively damage the inside of the Guy’s new home, tearing out plumbing fixtures, smashing windows and leaving axe marks in the doors.  On the outside of the house profanity was written.

In talking to the police Macdonald said the partnership on the farm was not equal and it was not fair, and that he was "working his arse off," while Guy was spending more time with his family.

10.36am Jury selection

Jury selection in the murder trial has only taken 10 minutes.

Macdonald was brought into court wearing a dark suit and tie and calmly said not guilty your honour when the charge was read out by the court registrar.

A jury of seven men and five women were quickly sworn in.

Vanderkolk is shortly expected to open the case to the jury.

Case mesmerised a nation

The hunt for Guy's killer mesmerised the nation.

That fascination intensified when, after nine months, detectives arrested and charged Macdonald, who is married to and has children with Guy's sister Anna and was a pallbearer at his funeral.

The Guy family have been unable to say how much of the trial they will attend, as father Bryan, mother Jo, and Scott's other sister Nikki will be called to give evidence at various stages. Usually, witnesses are excluded from a courtroom until they have done so.

Crown prosecutors Ben Vanderkolk and Paul Murray are prosecuting.

Vanderkolk is no stranger to high profile cases, having been part of the prosecution for arguably the last major courtroom drama to engross the Manawatu - the 2002 murder trial of Mark Lundy.

Representing Macdonald is experienced criminal lawyer Greg King, notable for defending Clayton Weatherston for the 2008 murder of Sophie Elliott and John Barlow for double murder in 1995. Manawatu barrister Peter Coles is also part of the defence.

Guy's widow, Kylee, returned to live in her native Hawke's Bay after her husband was killed, along with their sons Hunter, 4, and Drover, 1, with whom she was pregnant when Scott died. 

- The Dominion Post

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