A Riverside man accused of murder met a former criminal lawyer the day before to ask about where he would dispose of a body if he needed to, a Supreme Court jury in Launceston heard.
Adrian Hall gave evidence in the murder trial of Jack Harrison Vincent Sadler, 29, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jake Anderson-Brettner, 24, on August 15, 2018.
Mr Hall said he met Mr Sadler and discussed the disposal of a body and missing person procedures at Launceston's Star Bar.
The Crown alleges Mr Sadler shot Mr Anderson-Brettner three times before beheading and dismembering him at his Dion Crescent home.
Mr Sadler and his partner Gemma Clark disposed of Mr Anderson-Brettner's body allegedly in a manner suggested in the rap song Dead Body Disposal.
The jury heard that Mr Sadler and witness Michael Jenkins exchanged text messages over four months in which violence to Mr Anderson-Brettner was discussed.
In April, Mr Jenkins said "Slap brother it's well overdue".
In June, Mr Sadler urged Mr Jenkins to cut Mr Anderson-Brettner's toes off because he had enough of "f***ing around with him".
On August 10, Mr Sadler told Mr Jenkins he was going to "flog that spineless c*** today" to which Mr Jenkins replied with "You should have done that a long time ago".
Mr Jenkins, who admitted he was related to Mr Anderson-Brettner's partner Katlyn Roney, and that some of the text messages related to drugs. On August 11, Mr Sadler said to Mr Jenkins "please feel free to flog him and get $2000".
Under cross examination by defence counsel Greg Richardson, Mr Jenkins said that the flogging referred to was a clip over the head.
"I was sick of hearing about it, if someone pisses you off stop saying it, do it," he said.
Mr Jenkins urged Mr Sadler "don't give that prick the money".
Mr Richardson asked Mr Jenkins about a trip to a Legana storage shed to see a pump.
"The pump was a pill press wasn't it?" Mr Richardson asked.
"I couldn't tell you," Mr Jenkins replied.
The jury heard from several witnesses who saw Mr Anderson-Brettner on the day of his death describing him as happy about securing a home loan.
Thomas Larissey said Mr Anderson-Brettner took a Coles shopping bag from his cupboard about 6.30pm.
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He denied a suggestion from Mr Richardson that it contained money relating to drugs.
Several Riverside residents gave evidence of what they saw on the night of August 15 and in the following days.
Dion crescent resident Helen Hinds said she heard four to five shots about 7.30pm.
"I heard noise, I was really shocked, it was very loud and I had never heard shots before," she said.
Balmoral Avenue resident Andrew Eastman said he saw a "very poorly parked" dark SUV in his street about 8.15pm the same night.
Raymond Heald noticed a Black Nissan Navara when he left for work the next day on August 16. It is an agreed fact in the trial that the black Nissan Navara belonged to Mr Anderson-Brettner, while Mr Sadler drove a black Jeep Cherokee and Ms Clark a black Range Rover.
Brett Scott-Aitken, of Andrea Place, said he saw a man get out of a black SUV (later identified as a Jeep) and get into a second car and drive off.
Mr Sadler's next door neighbour Joyce Harris said she noticed the Range Rover was not in the driveway in the morning of August 16 but saw it return about 4pm.
James Gluskie said he saw a black Range Rover pull up outside his home and a blonde slim female in her 20s place something in a neighbour's rubbish bin. He checked the bin later and a garbage bag felt like carpet.
Jillian Fraser saw an extra bag in her bin on August 17 and when she touched it it "felt stiff".
Mr Hall said Mr Sadler texted him requesting a meeting and they met for about three hours on August 14. They discussed Mr Sadler's being charged for drug driving.
"We discussed a number of old [criminal] cases and in the midst of that he asked if a person was a missing person would they stay a missing person until a body was found," Mr Hall said.
"I told him he was generally correct but I mentioned that in the case of [Hobart woman] Susan Neill-Fraser charges arose in a case when there was no body."
"Did he ask something else?" Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates SC asked.
"He asked if he wanted to dispose of a body where was a good place to put it," Mr Hall said.
Mr Hall said that he was unsure whether he or Mr Sadler raised the idea of disposing of a body down a mine shaft. "I said generally it was often suggested that Rossarden was a good place to dispose of a body," he said.
Under cross examination by defence counsel Greg Richardson, Mr Hall said it was common for people to want to talk about criminal cases. "Almost on a daily basis," he said.
Mr Hall said he talked to Mr Sadler about a case of Sean Timothy Hudson who wrapped a body in a tarpaulin and dumped it and set it on fire.
"He didn't say he was intending to kill someone?" Mr Richardson asked. "You can safely assume that wasn't discussed," Mr Hall replied.
When re-examined by Mr Coates, Mr Hall agreed that in his November 2018 statutory declaration he declared that Mr Sadler asked "if he [Sadler] did need to dispose of a body where was the best place to put it". "I accept that was in my statement," he said.
Responding to Mr Richardson, Mr Hall said he had a number of alcoholic beverages.
"I can confirm discussion about disposal of a body but I can't be sure if he wanted to or it was general discussion," he said.
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