The scaffolder who denies he murdered a female jogger when he hit her with his car on the outskirts of New Plymouth will go to trial later this year.
Matthew Kinghorn, 27, was charged with the murder of Anne Elizabeth McCullough, 45.
Visitors to the Meeting of the Waters reserve found her body in the back seat of KInghorn's abandoned purple Holden Commodore on October 20.
Police allege Kinghorn ran into Mrs McCullough with his car when she was out for an afternoon run on Frankley Rd.
Kinghorn was initially charged with manslaughter but the charge was later upgraded to murder.
Yesterday, Mrs McCullough's family and friends sat in the back of the court for Kinghorn's first appearance in the High Court in New Plymouth.
Kinghorn, who is remanded in custody, has grown a goatee beard since his last appearance in the district court last year.
Crown solicitor Cherie Clarke informed Justice Christopher Allan during the short callover hearing that the murder trial was likely to run for about two weeks.
There would be about 50 Crown witnesses, many of whom could have their evidence read to the court.
Both the Crown and defence intend to call traffic experts to give evidence.
Defence counsel Julian Hannam said he intended challenging statements said to have been made to the police doctor by Kinghorn.
It was possible the trial could be scheduled for August or September.
The next callover date in the High Court will be on March 13 when Justice Allan said it would not be necessary for Kinghorn to appear.
Do you prefer a black or white collar on the All Blacks jersey?
View marriage and birth notices from around the region
View obituaries from around the region