Magistrate frustrated over murder case autopsy delays
AN ongoing delay in the autopsy report for slain Springfield father David Murphy has prompted questions from an Ipswich magistrate.
Mr Murphy, 49, died on his birthday after allegedly being struck with a gun in a roadside incident at Springfield Lakes on October 19.
Teenagers Kynan Ignacio Vital, 19, and Ethan Maurice McPherson, 19, both face charges of murder.
Mr Murphy was the father of Vital’s ex-girlfriend Julia Murphy with the court previously hearing it had been a tumultuous relationship.
In a brief mention of the cases for each of the accused before Ipswich Magistrates Court on Wednesday, lawyer for Vital, Daniel Hannay said the Crown had again advised of a delay in an outstanding pathology report (on Mr Murphy).
He said the Crown prosecution advised in November last year that there was a delay of 12 months on the report, and had since been advised it was “hopeful” it would be completed by the end of this year.
“Mr Vital is 19 with no criminal history,” Mr Hannay said.
“The height of the Crown case is that he (Vital) is a party to Mr McPherson.
“We cannot get it to committal without that report. And there is no date set for this report (to be received).
“I’m not sure why it continues to take so long to obtain.”
The Crown legal officer said the outstanding pathology medical report meant committal court proceedings could not take place until the “causation issue” was known.
Magistrate David Shepherd said the committal could take place but the question was whether it should.
He noted the Crown argument was that it should not proceed without the report.
Mr Hannay said the defence sought the material so the case of Vital could proceed to committal.
He said a it could be up to 24 months before a committal hearing takes place.
Mr Shepherd said some prompt explanation was needed as to why it will take 12 to 18 months to get the pathology report.
“Is it a resource issue. Or is it complexity,” he said.
“It is obviously undesirable for the matters to be held up in this way.”
“I will adjourn the matters to allow the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to find out why it has taken so long.”
Lawyer Amy Zanders, who appeared for McPherson, agreed. Both matters were adjourned to March 18.
Both teenagers were remanded in custody.