Four men to face trial over murder
FOUR Tweed Heads men charged with the murder of Bilambil man Luke Ogilvie have been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court in Sydney.
Graham Keys Smith, 28, Nicholas McCulloch, 25, and Benjamin Biffin, 31, and his brother Andrew, 29 were committed to trial in the Lismore Local Court after two weeks of evidence and testimonies before Magistrate Jacqueline Trad.
Smith, McCulloch and the Biffin brothers are alleged to have killed Ogilvie in a "drug rip-off gone wrong" at his Bilambil home in March last year.
They are also accused of stealing Ogilvie's Harley Davidson motorcycle and setting his Urliup Rd house on fire to cover up their crime. Dressed in prison greens, the men sat passively in the dock during the committal hearing as defence lawyers questioned witnesses.
Key evidence included blood found in a defend- ant's vehicle and paint scrapings taken from two cars believed to have collided as the assailants fled the scene.
The defence grilled a forensic expert over the scrapings, attempting to establish doubt as some scrapings collected from the vehicles proved to be different to the original paint.
Though the expert acknowledged those samples were the result of repairs to one of the vehicles, she was still able to establish that the cars in question had more than likely collided.
Defence lawyer Craig Smith had argued the fire could have been the result of a clandestine drug lab explosion, alleging Ogilvie was involved in the manufacture of drugs - a claim he said was supported by equipment found at the residence.
An investigator testified there was not enough glass in the area to indicate a drug lab explosion.
Graham Smith's former girlfriend also testified that Smith had returned home that night crying and scared and told her he saw "Luke getting hurt" and that McCulloch had "done something bad to Luke".