Murder-accused Johnnie Puna to stand trial in November

Mark Beale, who was found unconscious at Haumoana, Hawke's Bay on the morning of February 6, 2017.
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Mark Beale, who was found unconscious at Haumoana, Hawke's Bay on the morning of February 6, 2017.

A young man accused of killing a father of two in Hawke's Bay will stand trial by jury in November. 

Johnnie Puna appeared in the High Court in Napier on Monday morning via audio visual link.  

He's charged with the murder of Hawke's Bay man Mark Beale, a 45-year-old who was found near the river in the seasidesettlement of Haumoana about 7am on Monday, February 6.

Police staff on the cycle track at Haumoana, Hawke's Bay, ear where a critically injured man was found on February 6, ...
SIMON HENDERY/FAIRFAX NZ

Police staff on the cycle track at Haumoana, Hawke's Bay, ear where a critically injured man was found on February 6, 2017. He later died.

He was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital but later died of his injuries. 

READ MORE: 
Teen denies murder of Mark Beale, found unconscious near river mouth
Man arrested for murder of Mark Beale in Haumoana
Haumoana homicide victim Mark Beale was 'a very peaceful man', says son

Puna was arrested on February 24 and charged with murder, at the age of 19. 

In May, he pleaded not guilty to the charge, but admitted stealing Beale's cellphone. 

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