Invermay man Billy Ray Waters was brutally stabbed and shot in a fatal attack by two youths who were paid half an ounce of cannabis each, the Supreme Court in Launceston heard on Friday.
Jacob Michael Brennan, 17, and William Adair Rothwell, 18, both of Ravenswood, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Waters, 19, in Mayfield on August 4, 2019.
The heinous nature of the crime prompted Justice Robert Pearce to make a rare order allowing the media to name the two youths in the interests of justice. The teenagers are blaming each other for the fatal shotgun blast to the back of Mr Waters' head.
Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates SC said the murder was premeditated, brutal and sustained.
According to the prosecution case, Rothwell volunteered to carry out the murder on behalf of an older man who allegedly suggested that Mr Waters had stolen cannabis. Rothwell was allegedly asked if he knew anyone who would kill Mr Waters.
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Mr Coates said Rothwell took delivery of a shotgun, accessed a Bowie knife and recruited Brennan. They stole a four-wheel drive, intending to kill Mr Waters on a camping trip to Bridport.
But his life was initially spared when he didn't fall asleep.
The day before the murder Brennan texted a friend saying: "I'm going to do one of the worst things in society's eyes tomorrow night."
Brennan and Rothwell lured Mr Waters to bushland near Mowbray racecourse where Brennan shot him in the leg.
He was then hit over the head with the shotgun barrel, stabbed 18 times by Brennan, struck with a baton and finally shot in the back of the head.
The pair took Mr Waters' ring as proof of the "kill".
Justice Pearce interrupted a defence submission to say: "The level of violence is so disturbing in this case that I wonder what weight I should give those factors."
Mr Waters' grandmother Denise and another relative wept as they read victim-impact statements.
"I'll miss his laugh and his saying 'Right then, I'll get around to it'," his grandmother said. "Nobody has the right to take somebody's life and he didn't deserve what happened."
The other relative said all she could think about was Mr Waters lying in the bush.
"He was my hero and I knew he always had my back," she said.
Justice Pearce will deliver sentencing on February 28.