His name came up in the Scott Guy murder trial. But just who is Callum Boe?
The young farmhand who helped Ewen Macdonald commit arson and graffiti was orphaned young and has had a tough life, but had been turning things around before his arrest.
Callum Boe's step-grandfather, David Casey, spoke to the Sunday Star-Times last year after Macdonald was arrested for Scott Guy's murder.
Some suppression orders around Boe ended after Macdonald was found not guilty on Tuesday of shooting Guy outside his rural Feilding home two years ago today.
Casey, showing off his property near Colyton, pointed out freshly dug ditches where Boe and his brother planned to build a cottage for their grandparents.
When Boe was arrested last April, Casey says his wife, Boe's grandmother Reima, rushed to Queenstown to be with a boy who is "all heart", but who, as a child, lost both his parents within a year of each other.
Boe was just seven when an overloaded timber truck rolled on to the car he was travelling in with his father near Taihape. His father was killed and Boe suffered brain injuries.
His mother died of cancer a year later, a disease Casey believes was brought on by grief. "He's had a hard time."
His grandparents took him in, caring for him like a son. As a teenager Boe started working on the Guy farm, becoming close to Macdonald. They would tramp together and even took a helicopter hunting trip in the King Country.
Boe worked hard, and Casey says the Guy family seemed to have taken him under their wing. But, as the High Court at Wellington heard, everything was far from perfect.
Boe and Macdonald have pleaded guilty to the arson of an old property where Scott and his wife Kylee's new home was to be built, a charge Macdonald had denied but later admitted during police interviews after being told Boe had talked to detectives.
The duo have also admitted smashing up the new house and painting obscenities on the walls. Macdonald told police he held a grudge over the hours he worked on the farm.
Casey declined to comment on the trial, but last year said Boe was "led a bit".
"He can be a bit impulsive and has gone off the straight and narrow, but he hasn't burnt anyone. I think he got caught up in the wrong crew, but he's big enough and old enough to know better. I'm not using that as an excuse."
Casey said that after the murder Boe started to get his life together, gaining a building certificate in carpentry and moving to Queenstown to work in construction with his younger brother.
But about five months later he was arrested alongside Macdonald for arson and vandalism.
Suppression orders have been partly lifted around three of the six criminal charges Macdonald admitted when he appeared in the Palmerston North District Court last May.
Three involved poaching two deer from a Feilding farm, burning down the old farmhouse, and vandalising the new house. Boe had helped him.
A sentencing date will be set at Macdonald's next court appearance, at the end of the month, and the details of the other offences are expected to be lifted.
Suppression orders remain in place in Boe's case until after Macdonald's sentencing.
- © Fairfax NZ News