Man pleads not guilty to murder
A Halcombe man says he is not guilty of murdering former Palmerston North man Brett Hall.
The 49-year-old man, who has name suppression, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in the High Court in Whanganui this morning.
He has been charged with murdering Hall on May 27, 2011.
Justice Simon France suppressed the man's name until next month.
The judge also suppressed the case's summary of facts until a trial took place.
While he admitted it was unusual, he said the situation could change.
"It is my wish that such a wide suppression order does not stay in place throughout."
The accused was remanded in custody until next month.
Hall, 47, was last seen by a builder on his 16 square kilometre lifestyle block, about 30km from Whanganui, in May 2011.
A search party of 80 people failed to find his body, and a team of 20 police worked full time on the case for months after his death.
But the case seemed to go cold, until the Halcombe man was arrested days after a plea for new information from Hall's mother Lee Hall.
- Manawatu Standard
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday