A FIVE-DAY committal hearing was yesterday scheduled for two Portland district men charged with the murder of Troy Hocking last year.
Leonard Sciascia, 26, of Princes Highway, Heywood, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court in person while Dylan Bernard Robertson, 32, of Portland, appeared via a video link while being held in remand.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt heard that a committal hearing was expected to take between four and five days and would be heard in Warrnambool court from May 13.
Mr Hocking, 20, suffered a gunshot wound in mid-October last year and died in the Royal Melbourne Hospital the following day.
Another Portland man, Wayde Landmark, 31, has also been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Both Mr Robertson and Mr Sciascia have been held in custody since mid-October. Neither applied for bail.
Mr Robertson yesterday pleaded guilty to other charges including possessing amphetamines, possession and use of cannabis, driving an unregistered vehicle, breaching an intervention order and beaching a community corrections order.
Mr Klestadt said Mr Robertson had a lengthy history of involvement in the drug subculture dating back to a trafficking cannabis charge in the children’s court and he was currently on remand on the charge of homicide.
Mr Klestadt said he believed that Mr Robertson’s homicide charge — and his interception by police in relation to the charges he pleaded guilty to yesterday — were all connected to drugs.
“It all relates to drug use and his involvement in the drug culture,” he said.
Police alleged that on February 2 last year an intervention order was granted banning Mr Robertson from attending an address in Hawthorn Street, Portland
On July 13 last year Mr Robertson contacted his former partner between 1.30am and 2am and asked her to take him somewhere.
She agreed but they argued and Mr Robertson took over the driving and went to her Hawthorn Street home.
Police were called but Mr Robertson left before they attended. He later told police in an interview he wanted to see his kids.
On September 17 Mr Robertson was intercepted by police at 12.50am driving a green Holden Rodeo utility on Bentinck Street.
The registration had expired nine days before and police noted that Mr Robertson appeared nervous.
Officers noticed syringes on the floor of the vehicle and started a search. In two stubbie holders they found syringes and a zip-lock bag containing one gram of white crystal powder believed to be amphetamine.
In a cigarette packet they found another gram of white powder and they also located scales, zip- lock bags and other drug paraphernalia.
In another cigarette packet police found cannabis which Robertson said he used.
Mr Klestadt said Robertson knew why he was where he was today.
He said the accused had set himself on a course many years ago and despite the efforts of many, including Robertson himself, he had remained on that course.
“Clearly you will remain in custody for some substantial time,” Mr Klestadt told him.
“In the interest of the community and you, everyone is best served by disposing of these charges as efficiently as possible.”
Robertson was convicted, fined $750 and ordered to serve seven days in custody.
On the drug charges he was jailed for 91 days, which he has already served.
For breaching his CCO, which Mr Klestadt said Robertson had comprehensively failed to complete, he was jailed for three months.
Robertson now has to serve three months and seven days in custody while he is also still on remand on the murder charge.
Sciascia is also facing additional charges for which there will be a contest mention on March 23.