A dog behaviour specialist says the silence of farmer Jack Nicholas' dogs when he was shot means the killer was almost certainly someone who was "very close" to him.
The opinion was given today by Palmerston North canine behaviour centre operator Paul Hutton in the High Court in Napier.
Murray Kenneth Foreman, 51, denies the murder of 71-year-old Mr Nicholas, shot on August 27, 2004, outside his Kaweka Ranges foothills homestead.
Mr Hutton said the lack of barking from the dogs meant that apart from family members there was little option that anyone else was responsible for the shooting.
The evidence was challenged by crown prosecutor Russell Collins, firstly on the credibility of the witness, and also on the possibility that the dogs did bark at the time of the shooting, but that Mrs Nicholas did not hear them in the trauma and shock of the morning.
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