A judge has lamented the drawn-out nature of an alleged murder case in the state’s South, warning the prosecution that a murder trial is “not a game”.
Following a tip-off around June 2017, police discovered the body of Risdon Vale tattoo artist Dwayne ‘Doc’ Davies, 47, on a large rural property located between Oatlands and Orford.
According to police, the owner of the property was not a suspect in what is believed to be a murder case.
Two people were charged in relation to Mr Davies’ killing: Bradley Scott Purkiss, of Elderslie, and Mr Davies’ wife Margaret Anne Otto, of Risdon Vale.
Now, 14 months later, the case is still yet to go to trial.
Mr Purkiss has pleaded not guilty to murder, while Ms Otto has pleaded not guilty to charges including being an accessory after the fact.
But the Hobart Supreme Court has heard Ms Otto is now being charged with murder, which she will defend herself against in a joint trial with Mr Purkiss.
Acting Justice Pierre Slicer noted the lengthy nature of proceedings relating to Mr Davies’ death, saying it did not “speak well”.
The Crown told the court it was waiting to receive forensic reports from Forensic Science Service Tasmania before proceeding further with the case.
Police conducted forensic examinations of an Elderslie property and a Risdon Vale property in June last year in the hope of uncovering leads pertaining to Mr Davies’ suspected murder.
When asked what he thought of the latest development, Mr Purkiss expressed his displeasure.
“It seems to be their excuse every time – waiting on forensics,” he said of the prosecution.
An emotional Ms Otto appeared via video-link.
Her counsel, Caroline Graves, said there was “no indication” there was any forensic evidence linking her client to Mr Davies’ death.
Acting Justice Slicer admonished the prosecution for supposedly protracting the case.
“A murder trial is not a game,” he said.
The matter will be before the court again on September 21.