Scott Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald, 32, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Guy by shooting him twice in the early morning of July 8, 2010.
Macdonald has admitted setting fire to an old farmhouse on Mr Guy's property in October 2008, damaging his house with an axe and painting offensive graffiti on its walls in January 2009, but denies murder.
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.
The trial began at the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday June 5 and is expected to go for at least a month.
This is the fourth week of the trial.
LIVE UPDATES FROM COURT
Court has adjourned for the day. Both the defence and prosecution have finished presenting their cases.
12.40pm: 'This mystery is not solved'
The jury needed to think about another man who had a semi-automatic, wore size 12 and had vouchers for Hunting and Fishing.
Defence lawyer Greg King said he was not accusing farm worker Simon Asplin of murder, but the jury needed to visualise it.
"He drove a sedan. Matthew Ireland saw a sedan on the way to work then Simon Asplin's sedan turned up at work 15 minutes early.''
Mr King said his semi-automatic gun would make three bangs in quick succession.
"He had attempted to play Scott Guy and Ewen Macdonald off against each other," he said.
Mr Asplin had access to the farm gun and had now been made farm manager.
He asked the jury to consider if it was all coincidence or all perfectly innocent, but looking at it like the Crown did, the jury could paint a sinister picture from it.
"Time, opportunity, dislike of Scott, semi-automatic, sedan size 12 feet,'' Mr King said.
"What happened was a tragedy and should not have happened but this mystery is not solved.''
Mr King has closed his last statement to the jury by asking them to find his client not guilty.
"Look at the evidence in a way that divorces it from emotion, look objectively, look at cold hard evidence and the Crown case fails."
He told the jury there was not one bit of evidence or one chocolate brown fibre linking Ewen Macdonald to the scene of Scott Guy's killing.
12.14pm: Dive boots not seen since 2008
Ewen Macdonald's dive boots have not been seen since 2008, two years before Scott Guy was killed.
"Not a single witness saw them,'' Mr King told the jury.
His wife Anna admitted the questions over the dive boots were doing her head in.
"It's not usually a big deal to throw out an old dive,'' Mr King said.
Mrs Macdonald said it was scungy, tatty, covered in cobwebs but not at the house they were living in when Scott Guy was shot, he said.
She thought it was thrown out and it was her evidence that she could not remember seeing them after she and Macdonald had moved into the homestead when Bryan and Jo Guy moved into Feilding.
11.43am: Dive boots not a size nine
"The shoes at the scene if they are Proline, could not be a size nine."
Defence lawyer Greg King said the Proline dive boots has 29 wavy lines.
The casts found at the scene had more.
"Toe roll is rubbish,'' he told the jury.
The Crown's case that Macdonald had a pair of Proline began to fall apart when their witness says it might not be Proline, he added.
The casts were more likely to come from size 11 or 12, Mr King said.
The Crown scientist fudged the evidence by not counting the rows on the dive boots.
11.32am: Macdonald saying Guy was shot 'ridiculous'
Knowing Scott Guy was shot was not fact or even fiction, it was fantasy on the Crown's part, Ewen Macdonald's lawyer has told the jury.
"If you are the person who shot him - in the realms of Christiandom would you be correcting people?''Mr King asked.
He said the idea that Ewen Macdonald was saying Mr Guy had been shot was ridiculous.
Mr King said why if Macdonald had got away with everything else would he then tell people that Mr Guy's throat had not been cut but he was shot.
Witnesses had not told police about comments from Macdonald until after the police arrested him and it was natural to try to reconstruct conversations.
Instead Macdonald acted perfectly normally, having to get things done on the farm and comforting his wife Anna when he could.
11.09am: No evidence Macdonald knew where gun was
There was nothing to say that Ewen Macdonald knew where the Guy family farm shotgun was, Defence lawyer Greg King said.
He said Bryan Guy found the gun precisely where he left it and in the two bits he had left it in.
"[There's] nothing whatsoever to indicate to him that it had been used or even moved since the last time he saw it."
The Crown case had Macdonald disposing of puppies and other evidence but there was nothing about canine DNA or even hairs to show what had happened, Mr King said.
Macdonald could not have known that the first thing Bryan Guy would do was check on the gun.
"So why would he leave something like evidence of the gun lying around to dispose of later?'' Mr King said.
He said he was full of admiration for the honesty and integrity of Bryan Guy and for coming back to the trial day after day and being nothing but fair.
But Mr Guy still lied to the police about where the gun was.
"It demonstrates that honest people can lie to the police, misled them about the location of the shotgun," Mr King said.
The jury could not then say that because Macdonald lied about the arson and vandalism he was guilty of murder, he said.
10.55am: Guy and Macdonald confrontation blown out of proportion
A confrontation between Scott Guy and Ewen Macdonald at a family event had been blown out of all proportion.
Defence lawyer Greg King said all Macdonald did was tell Mr Guy that he should not have left others to clean up on the farm.
Macdonald himself was late to the family event because he remained on the farm to help and told Mr Guy about it when he arrived.
"It was Scott that slammed his beer down and walked out,'' Mr King said.
He said other family members attributed the fuss to Scott walking out, not Macdonald's comments.
Mr King read the jury an exert from a statement to the police saying Macdonald spoke to Mr Guy the next day and apologised saying it was an inappropriate place to bring it up and they went on to talk about their communication.
Macdonald did not go out intending to spoil the family night or later turn that into murderous intent, Mr King said.
10.46am: Guy family farm's future was positive
There was positiveness about the future of the Guy family farm, not the murderous insecurity the Crown had portrayed, defence lawyer Greg King says.
Mr King disputed that there was concern about the future even after a conference about how to push forward with the farm business.
"Bryan and Jo Guy told you that no decisions had been made and they would all do it together.''
He said instead there were hopes of developing alternative revenue streams.
He added that even with change, Ewen Macdonald's life was not confined to the farm and he had alternatives.
"Why would you throw all that away when you have all these other options.'
10.33am: Defence: Macdonald trying to put Guy feeling behind him
Ewen Macdonald had been trying to put his feelings about Scott Guy behind him.
He told his wife Anna that he was going to, defence lawyer Greg King told the jury.
Macdonald took clippings from his own yard for Kylee Guy and bought her a silk tree for her birthday - making steps to move on, he said.
Mr King said these were small steps, because if he admitted the arson and vandalism he would lose everything including his family.
"He was gutless and cowardly and should have owned up to it but he didn't and he instead took these small steps.''
Mr King said he knew he had gone completely off the rails with the acts against Scott and Kylee Guy's property and was working hard to get himself back on track.
He told the jury lots of people had secrets from their spouses.
"The fact is after that he was getting on better with Scott than they had in years," he said.
10.26am: Malicious notes 'rubbish', defence lawyer says
There was no evidence that so-called poisonous notes intended for Kylee Guy actually existed.
Defence lawyer Greg King said not a single witness other than the posties ever said they knew about the notes.
"The contradiction about the notes is mindblowing," he said.
The two posties could not even be consistent between themselves - even disagreeing on the writing and what was used to write the notes.
"The sad reality is that high profile cases attract people who are seeking publicity,' he said.
If there were notes they would have been received and Scott or Kylee Guy would have told someone, Mr King said.
Mr Guy if he found them, never told anyone.
"The notes are rubbish," he said.
10.21am: Defence: Macdonald did horrible things, but that didn't make him a murderer
Nothing was in it for Ewen Macdonald as he was never going to inherit Scot Guy's portion of the farm, his lawyer has told the jury.
Defence lawyer Greg King said if this was about Scott Guy not pulling his weight on the farm then killing him was not going to fix that.
The jury had heard that the shares in the farm went to Kylee Guy and their children.
"Killing Scott Guy would also be a crime against his family, and against Anna and his own children too," Mr King said.
He told the jury that whatever Macdonald thought of Mr Guy, there was no evidence that he despised his own family enough to leave them with his legacy.
Mr King acknowledged the Macdonald had done some horrible things but it did not make him a murderer.
10.12am: Defence to continue closing arguments
Defence lawyer Greg King is to continue his closing arguments to the jury this morning.
Yesterday the jury heard from Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk who outlined that only Ewen Macdonald had the information needed to be in the right place to kill Scott Guy the morning of July 8, 2010.
However Mr King has been refuting his arguments saying the Crown has little actual evidence and completely ignored some hard facts.
SUMMARY OF DAY 18
Ewen Macdonald had the motive, the skill, and the state of mind required to kill his brother-in-law Scott Guy, the Crown says.
But Macdonald's legal team has a simple response to those allegations: "Where's the evidence?"
After 3 ½ weeks of testimony, Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk and defence lawyer Greg King delivered their closing addresses to the jury at Macdonald's murder trial in the High Court at Wellington yesterday.
Mr Vanderkolk wrapped up his closing in just under four hours, while Mr King will finish today.
Macdonald's wife, Anna, sat in the public gallery for the first time, beside her parents, Bryan and Jo Guy, and sister Nikki.
They heard Mr Vanderkolk describe Scott Guy's murder as the result of an "intense, personal hatred" that Macdonald developed out of fear he would be forced off the Feilding farm they co-managed, known as Byreburn farm, should Mr Guy inherit it.
Tension over how the farm was run had been building since 2008, which was about the time Macdonald began trying to scare Scott and wife Kylee Guy out of Feilding with acts of arson and vandalism, and threatening notes in their letterbox, Mr Vanderkolk said. "You cannot imagine ... the deep-seated resentment and anger that drives the state of mind of the accused who's doing it ... it's extreme conduct of the most wanton kind."
He asked the jurors to look at the bigger picture and base their verdict on common sense. He also directed them to a picture of what the murder scene would have looked like at 4.45am on July 8, 2010, saying only an experienced hunter like Macdonald would have had the skill to shoot Mr Guy in the pre-dawn darkness.
Macdonald had also told police he recalled seeing the headlights of Mr Guy's ute shining through the bars of his closed gates, which was an image only the killer would remember, Mr Vanderkolk said, because Mr Guy had opened his gates just before he was shot.
He said Scott Guy's last chilling view was of the predawn darkness, pierced by the headlights of his truck, as he got out to open the gates closed by his killer.
Because there were no witnesses to the murder, the case could be proven only by reference to circumstance and coincidence.
But Mr King urged the jury to base their decision on something more substantial. He said Mr Vanderkolk presented three hours and 40 minutes of allegations in his closing statement and only 20 minutes of evidence. "Everything you have just heard is wrong."
He said there were four fatal flaws in the Crown case. Among them were the four witnesses who recalled hearing gunshots at 5am, rather than 4.45am, and three shots rather than the Crown's two-shot theory. "If that is right, then there is no way ... Ewen Kerry Macdonald could be the killer. It's a fact, he could not have done it."
Greg King: "Can you realistically say, I'm certain?"
* Three of the four Crown witnesses to hear shots heard them about 5am; Macdonald was at work.
* Two thought they heard three shots in succession. That was too quick for the shotgun on the farm.
* A car was seen near the house.
* The Crown says Macdonald cycled to and from the murder.
* A cigarette packet found outside the house matched one stolen by a burglar with a history of shotgun crimes.
Ben Vanderkolk: "A verdict based on common sense."
* Macdonald had the motive: he felt Mr Guy was not pulling his weight.
* He had been trying to drive Mr Guy and his wife, Kylee, out of Feilding.
* He had time, he knew where the farm shotgun and puppies were, and he knew when Mr Guy would be leaving home.
* He owned dive boots with distinctive soles.
* As a hunter, he had enough expertise to shoot Mr Guy in limited light.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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