Levin murder suspect named

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 13:00 04/02/2013
Michael Les Valentine
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STABBED: Michael Les Valentine.

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Two men arrested in connection with the killing of Michael Valentine have made a brief court appearance this afternoon.

Mr Valentine, 27, was found dead on Friday night on a gravel road off State Highway One, seven kilometres north of Levin.

He had been stabbed with a knife once in his chest and died at the scene.

Stoyan Militch, 31, a Levin chef, is charged with Mr Valentine's murder.

He is also facing a charge of assault with a weapon, with court documents alleging he assaulted Mr Valentine with a "sharpening steel".

Factory-hand Michael Paul Zimmerman, 29, of Levin, also faces an assault with a weapon charge.

Neither entered pleas as they stood side-by-side before Judge David Smith in the Palmerston North District Court.

Lawyer Simon Hewson, who is assigned to Militch and acted for Zimmerman as duty solicitor, said neither man would apply for bail today and would be remanded in custody by consent.

Militch will appear in the Levin District Court on February 13.

"I'm anticipating some disclosure between now and that date that would allow me to assess the strength of that case and perhaps mount a bail application," Mr Hewson said of Militch.

Mr Hewson said he advised Zimmerman to have a lawyer assigned to him before his next appearance on Thursday in Levin.

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- Manawatu Standard

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