Hearing over Wilsonton 9 murder case begins
A COMMITTAL hearing into nine Toowoomba people accused of murder arising from the death of Wilsonton mother Debbie Combarngo has started.
The nine accused, including Joshua James Lingwoodock, 33, Rhianna Jade Fing, 29, Ty Peter Fing, 23, Ashley Aaron Fing, 25, Christine Maree Hall, 34, Jana Leigh Hall, 28, Rhonda Ann Hall, 29, Lynn Fay Jean Anderson, 26, and Shiralee Fernando, 30, are alleged to have gone to Ms Combarngo's unit on the afternoon of May 6, 2018, attacking her and two other people in the flat at the time.
The hearing is being held in the Brisbane Magistrates Court because Toowoomba does not have a court room large enough to accommodate nine accused, 11 barristers and instructing solicitors.
Though adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, the court room is packed with family and friends of the accused as well as maintaining a security presence.
Police claim the group of nine was armed with a golf club, metal pole, hammer and a knife at the time of the alleged attack on Ms Combarngo.
However, in his evidence to the court, maxi-taxi driver Kamahl Deep who drove the group that day claimed he never saw any such weapons in his cab that day.
Shonelle Hayward, 22, told the court she had been in her bedroom at Christine Hall's Ruthven St home that day when Rhonda Hall, Rhianna Fing and "Mini" (Lynn Anderson) arrived about noon.
She said all the women were crying and that Rhonda Hall and Shiralee Fernando, who was at the house, had been arguing about the recent death of Rhonda's brother Michael.
She had yelled at Shiralee Fernando "What happened to my brother Mikey, what happened?"
She said Shiralee just cried and didn't respond after which Rhonda had punched her, knocking her back onto a bed.
Ms Hayward said she had then walked out of the bedroom and taken some children there outside into the yard.
She said sometime later she saw the back of a taxi leaving the home and when she went inside the women were gone.
She too said she had not seen any weapons with anyone.
Stevie Hazard, 24, who was also at Christine Hall's home that day also recalled Rhonda Hall yelling at Shiralee Fernando, asking "What the **** happened to my brother?"
She said she hadn't seen any weapons at the house but under cross examination agreed that in her police statement she had said she'd seen Rhonda Hall pick up a black metal pole from bushes outside the Super Rooster at the corner of North and Ruthven Sts to where they had gone that day.
Amy Fing, 33, told the court her brother Ashley Fing had been drunk and was arrested the night before and he had still appeared drunk when he arrived at her place that Sunday morning.
He had started drinking again and had been on the phone, she said.
Her brother said "Sis, the girls are on the phone here, they want to know if you want to come up and watch them fight Debbie (Combarngo)".
Ms Fing said she didn't want to go as Ms Combarngo had been like an older sister to her.
She said it was her impression the boys had gone as "back up" in case other men had been at Ms Combarngo's unit.
None of the accused has as yet been required to enter any pleas to charges of murder, entering a premises in company, and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm in company.
The committal hearing before Magistrate Kay Ryan continues.