Retrial over pub killing

Last updated 12:00 20/05/2014
Andy Marshall
KILLED DURING A NIGHT OUT: Andy Marshall was following his dream of becoming a professional musician in Australia.

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The man accused of murdering former Feilding man Andy Marshall offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but prosecutors have rejected the plea deal.

The offer came yesterday at the start of the murder retrial for Stefan Pahia Schmidt, who is being tried at Western Australia's Supreme Court.

Marshall died after being pushed out of the upstairs window of a hotel. Schmidt insists he did not mean to kill him.

Marshall is a cousin of slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy, who was shot in his driveway in 2010.

In 2012 Schmidt was convicted and given a life sentence with a minimum jail term of 14 years for murdering Marshall in May 2011. But the conviction was overturned on appeal and a judge-alone retrial was ordered.

During the original trial, the rugby league player, former bouncer, trained fighter and associate of the outlaw bikie gang Rock Machine said he only meant to push Marshall out of the way, annoyed that he had made a remark as he was speaking with two women Schmidt knew.

The prosecution did not originally allege Schmidt wanted to kill Marshall, rather that he intended to cause him bodily injury that was likely to endanger his life.

But at the retrial, the state argued Schmidt had intended to cause injuries to Marshall that would have reasonably been foreseeable as being life threatening. "One does not go through a window without suffering serious injury," prosecutor Bruno Fiannaca said.

The state would argue that Schmidt would have known the window was there as he was facing it, and would have known it was on the second storey as he had walked upstairs to reach the bar area where the altercation occurred.

Schmidt also immediately went to the window when it shattered and Marshall fell 5.5 metres to the pavement below. He was clearly angry, punching another man on the way out of the venue.

When he walked away, he glanced over his shoulder at people scrambling to help Marshall.

"He was at that stage not in a state of shock or disbelief," Fiannaca said.

"If he was concerned, he would have provided some assistance."

Fiannaca also said text messages would show Schmidt was not as distressed as he had claimed and that he intended "the consequences of his actions".

Defence lawyer Colin Lovitt said Schmidt was a powerful man and the force of the push with his rugby "fending-off arm" was greater than he intended.

Lovitt also said it was unknown if the window, which met standards when it was installed in 1979, had an inherent weakness or a crack.

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The retrial before Justice John McKechnie continues.

- AAP and Fairfax

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