Scott Guy murder trial | Day 20
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 fifth week of the trial. The jury is expected to begin deliberating today.
LIVE UPDATES FROM COURT
5.08pm The jury in the Scott Guy murder trial has retired for the night
The jury in the Scott Guy murder trial has retired for the night and will continue its deliberations tomorrow.
The 11 members of the jury began their deliberations just after 11.30am after listening to the judge summing up the case.
Lunch was brought into them.
Justice Simon France had the jury to return to court to tell them that they could not discuss the case with anyone.
The public gallery grew quiet as the afternoon drew on leaving mainly media waiting to hear of any outcome.
The jury has heard four weeks of evidence from over 100 witnesses.
Justice France had spent 90 minutes summing up to them this morning telling them they had to be sure before they could return a verdict of guilty.
He told them it was not a whodunit, that they only had to decide if Ewen Macdonald had murdered Scott Guy on July 8, 2010.
11.46am: Do not shrink from giving a verdict
The jury in the Scott Guy murder trial has retired to begin deliberations.
The jury has a transcript of the trial with them in the jury room.
Justice Simon France spent 90 minutes talking to them before inviting them to begin considering a verdict.
He told them not to shrink from giving a verdict no matter what it might be.
11.26am: Jury must decide on dive boot
A dive boot made the impressions found at the scene of Scott Guy's murder but whether it was a Proline and what size it was is up to the jury, the judge has said.
Justice Simon France spent some time outlining the competing arguments from the Crown and the defence over the alleged Proline size nine boots Macdonald had owned.
He said the expert had outlined the process he had used, and while he had agreed with the defence that a size nine could not have made three of casts, he would not agree and go further to say if it was a Proline or that it must be size 12.
The judge said the jury could accept what they liked, whether or not the expert did.
Justice France also told them that there was no way to link the Guy family farm shotgun with the murder as there was no way to identify it.
11.09am: Judge summing up cases
The judge has begun outlining the cases from the Crown and defence point of views.
Justice Simon France said the Crown contended that Macdonald was insecure about his place on the farm and threatened by Scott Guy being on the farm.
The Crown said Macdonald had acted against Scott and Kylee Guy in the past and did so again on July 8.
The defence however said there was no evidence and the Crown had been making the facts fit the crime.
Justice France said accusing someone else was a way of pointing the jury to reasonable doubt and they had seen Simon Asplin for themselves.
10.43am: It's not a trial of character
It is not a trial about character, the judge has told the jury.
He was talking about previous acts of arson and vandalismn that Macdonald admitted to.
Justice Simon France said it was not relevant that Macdonald did those things, but his motivation for doing them was.
"You can't say that because he trashed the house that he committed murder,'' he said.
Justice France also told the jury to put aside any feelings of sympathy and to ignore everything but the evidence.
He told them not to read anything into Anna Macdonald and Kylee Guy coming into court to give evidence through a side door and it meant nothing .
"If you and I were there with all the attention we would grab all privacy we could.''
10.35am: Jury shouldn't read into Macdonald not giving evidence.
The jury should not read anything into Ewen Macdonald not giving evidence himself.
Justice Simon France told the 11 members of the jury that he did not have to give evidence and they should give it no weight.
He said they also had to work out which evidence they considered reliable, whether a witness was lying or just mistaken and if they were telling the truth.
Justice France said it was not all or nothing, they would take what evidence they liked as reliable and not use the rest.
He warned them that lawyers' questions were not evidence, only the answers the witnesses gave.
The jury heard that a circumstantial case was not unusual and there were often not eye witnesses.
How the jury got to an unanimous verdict was up to them.
"You must all be sure of his guilt or all agree you have a reasonable doubt," the judge said.
10.25am: Judge: Case not a whodunit
The only thing the jury has to decide is if Ewen Macdonald killed Scott Guy, the judge has told the jury.
Justice Simon France told them it was not a whodunit at all.
"You should put that idea aside."
He told the jury they were not scientists or a commission of inquiry or detectives.
"All it is is an allegation that Macdonald killed Mr Guy, it's not wider than that.''
Justice France said the Crown must have proved that to the required standard and this standard was that they must be sure.
10.20am: Public gallery packed
The judge has begun summing up the Scott Guy murder trial to the jury this morning.
Justice Simon France is expected to put the jury out to begin deliberations about lunchtime.
A queue to hear the judge began forming in the foyer of the High Court at Wellington about 8.30am.
The public gallery was full largely with members of the families of both sides.
WHAT EXPECTED TODAY
A long-awaited conclusion to the Scott Guy murder trial is due this week after a month of evidence and hours of closing arguments from both sides.
Justice France is due to sum up the case today in the High Court at Wellington and the jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict on one charge of murder. Ewen Macdonald has denied killing Scott Guy by shooting him twice at the end of his driveway in Feilding in 2010, over tensions about the future of the family farm.
The jury of 11 will have with them all the exhibits presented in the case from both the Crown and defence. The evidence presented by the prosecution wound up last week with the jury hearing about forensic testing on the farm shotgun, plaster casts of footprints from the murder scene and an agreement with the defence from a Crown witness that a size 9 ProLine dive boot could not have made the impressions.
The trial has generated such intense public interest that queues have formed each day for seats in the public gallery, with up to 100 people waiting to get in.
The Dominion Post