Slade Point man to stand trial over alleged murder

THE 20-year-old Slade Point man accused of murdering Hans Peter Hansen, 72, has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

Police are alleging that Dan Wellington Eric Pearson threw an object through Mr Hansen's car window and assaulted him on the morning of December 13, causing his death.

Pearson is charged with murder, grievous bodily harm and endangering the safe use of a vehicle.

Four witnesses were cross-examined at Pearson's committal hearing in Mackay Magistrates Court yesterday.

Defence barrister Tim Ryan questioned Detective Sergeant Brett Jackson and Detective Sergeant Lisa Elkins about two interviews they conducted with Pearson on the weekend of the alleged murder.

Det Sgt Jackson confirmed that Pearson had been admitted to Mackay Base Hospital about 3am on December 13, and had threatened to take his own life.

He also confirmed that at the hospital Pearson had had a blood alcohol reading of more than 0.2%, four times the legal driving limit. Pearson had absconded from the hospital and would have been drunk at the time the alleged offence occurred, about 4am.

Mr Ryan asked both officers why an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS) lawyer had not been present at interviews conducted on the afternoon of December 13 and at 10.30am the next day.

Det Sgt Jackson and Det Sgt Elkins said they had asked Pearson if he wanted support from ATSILS or a family or friend and he had declined.

Det Sgt Elkins said Pearson appeared to be an educated, articulate man who had finished Year 12 and had been planning to study dance in New South Wales.

She said he had not appeared to be affected by alcohol at all at the time of the interviews.

"Did you think that an 18-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boy might be at some significant disadvantage when he was being interviewed... about a possible murder charge?" Mr Ryan asked.

"My partner's Aboriginal, I know a lot of Aboriginals and there was nothing to lead me to think he was disadvantaged," Det Sgt Elkins said.

Anatomic pathologist Dr Tony Tannenberg and Professor David Williams, who conducted Mr Hansen's autopsy, also gave evidence.

Dr Tannenberg confirmed that Mr Hansen had suffered a head injury caused by a blunt, high-energy force.

Prof Williams said Mr Hansen had suffered a skull fracture. He said there had been lacerations, bruising and swelling around the site of the fracture as well as significant haemorrhaging.

Mr Ryan did not make any submissions and consented to the matter going to trial.

Magistrate Nerida Wilson ordered Pearson to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

Pearson did not enter a plea or make comment. 



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