New twist in boyfriend murder trial
A second jury has been discharged in the murder trial of a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in a South Melbourne apartment.
Ricardo Barbaro, 36, had been facing trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court for the first week of an estimated month-long trial over the death of Ellie Price, 26, in 2020.
Ms Price’s body was discovered on May 4. Crown prosecutor Patrick Bourke KC said it was alleged she was killed about five days earlier.
Mr Barbaro has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
Mr Barbaro’s lawyer, Rishi Nathwani, told the jury his client was not the last person to see her alive, suggesting her employment as a stripper put her into contact with others who may have wanted to harm her.
On Friday morning, Justice Lex Lasry discharged the jury, with a fresh trial expected later this year.
The move followed an application by Mr Nathwani asking for time to examine new evidence.
An earlier trial on May 3 collapsed, after a juror allegedly used the internet to do his own background research.
Jurors are only permitted to evaluate the evidence presented in court when deciding their verdict. It is a criminal offence for jurors to conduct their own research.
The alleged misconduct will be investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions.