A CASTERTON man has been committed to stand trial for a double stabbing murder and attempted murder.
Aaron Jamie Ball, 32, of Russells Street, pleaded not guilty to the murders of Casterton man Raymond McCombe and Warrnambool’s Toby Lynch and the attempted murder of Casterton’s Stephen Mark on October 4 last year.
Fourteen-year-old Stacey Boutcher told Warrnambool Magistrates Court via remote video link yesterday that she saw Mr Lynch coming out of a driveway in Miller Street, Casterton, yelling out that he had been stabbed. She said Mr Lynch told her to call triple-0 and when he lifted up his shirt she saw blood.
Ms Boutcher said she had been staying the night at the McCombe house with her friend Jessica McCombe. Earlier in the night an older woman at the Miller Street house had been yelling out things about Ms McCombe’s deceased mother.
She said when she and Ms McCombe walked over to the house there was a younger woman recording them on a camera. They had continued to yell things and then a man had chased them. Ms Boutcher said she had run up the road and Ms McCombe stayed near the house, picking up a plastic softdrink bottle and throwing it at the woman with the camera.
The older woman at the house had got in the car and reversed towards her and Ms McCombe.
Ms Boutcher told the court that Mr McCombe, Mr Lynch and Mr Mark had gone to the Miller Street house, after which she heard yelling.
She had seen the men — one from the McCombe house and the man from the Miller Street house — “knocking their shoulders into each other” but not punching.
Before Mr Lynch came out and said he’d been stabbed, Ms Boutcher told the court she could not see a lot in the gathering darkness.
On Tuesday, Ms McCombe testified she had seen Mr Ball near her father when he was hit by a car driven by Mr Ball’s mother Dianne Hutchins, who is now deceased.
She said Mr Ball had one arm around Mr McCombe and the other arm was stabbing him in the back.
“I could see him well enough to see he was stabbing my dad,” she told the court. Magistrate Stephen Myall also heard evidence from Brooke Pillar, 15, via remote video link, who said she was staying with her friend Ms McCombe.
She said she was in Ms McCombe’s bedroom when she was told the “loonies”, referring to Mr Ball and his family, had been calling out abuse about Ms McCombe’s mother.
She had followed Ms McCombe and Ms Boutcher to the house in Miller Street, whose residents she didn’t know.
She said Mr McCombe was trying to calm everyone down. It was the last thing she had seen before going back to the house.
Defence counsel Andrew Graham said there was insufficient evidence to prove Mr Lynch was murdered because no one saw it.
He said there was also an issue in terms of identity and there was the possibility of more than one person involved.
Senior Crown prosecutor Michele Williams said there was no suggestion Mr Lynch was stabbed by anyone else.
Mr Myall said there was sufficient weight of evidence to support a conviction.
Mr Ball was remanded to appear in the Supreme Court in Melbourne on November 7 for a directions hearing.