Ex-school captain fights murder charge
A teenager and former school prefect charged with murdering a dad-of-two has asked a court to reconsider granting him bail, with his lawyer questioning whether he’s “hasn’t done anything wrong at all, let alone anything criminal”.
On Monday afternoon, the Adelaide Supreme Court heard Marco Yandle, 19, would not be a threat to the investigation if he were granted bail.
The teenager has been charged alongside his father Keith Yandle over the alleged “execution style” murder of Steve Murphy – an Adelaide father-of-two who went missing in February.
The teen previously lost a bid for bail in the Adelaide Magistrates Court over fears he would intimidate witnesses and interfere with the investigation, but applied for that order to be reviewed.
In court on Monday, top SA silk Mark Norman, for Marco, said his client was of “exemplary” character whose life had been derailed by the proceedings.
“There is no reason to suspect he would have ever troubled the courts or the authorities,” Mr Norman said.
“There’s nothing in this gentleman’s personal circumstances which would categorise him as posing any sort of risk or threat to anyone or to the trial process.
“We have a 19-year-old teenager, of good character, facing a charge of murder based on what their father does in a dark shed in the middle of the night when investigating an intruder,” he said.
“There’s a real question here as to whether Mr Yandle has done anything wrong at all, let alone a criminal offence.
“This is a highly unusual situation.”
Prosecutors allege that on the night of February 19, Keith and Marco equipped themselves with an illegal firearm and a bat after they suspected an intruder was on the property.
The alleged footage shows a first shot was fired into a shed 60m away from the main house on the property in Kudla – which defence counsel described as a “warning shot” – before Mr Murphy was discovered “taking advantage of the darkness” in the corner.
The father and son then allegedly emptied Mr Murphy’s pockets before Keith Yandle allegedly shot him in the head.
Marco allegedly held a torch over Mr Murphy, illuminating him as his father pulled the trigger.
Prosecutor Lucy Boord KC disagreed with Mr Norman, saying Marco still posed a serious threat to the investigation, which was “still in it’s infancy.”
“In response to the suggestion that it was a sensible approach to what was occurring, the sensible response would have been to call the police immediately,” Ms Boord said.
“That is not what they chose to do.
“The applicant chose to arm himself with a baseball bat and a torch.”
She said that the teen’s uncle is concerned about his behaviour, and worried that he may interfere with his witness statement.
She said “the serious nature of the offence, the risk that the applicant may interfere with a vulnerable witness, that and the CCTV has been removed and hidden” should see Marco remain in custody until his next court date in October.
“I can advise your honour that there is still further CCTV footage to be viewed including whether or not (Marco) was involved in the disposal of the body of the deceased, that’s in the process of being done,” she said.
“As I say, at this stage, the investigation is in its infancy, but we maintain a strong prosecution case.”
Justice Sandi McDonald will hand down her decision on bail on Friday.