A man has told of hearing “the glugging of the petrol” in the dark near Lake Ellesmere before the carpet-wrapped body of Marcus Luke Tucker was set alight.
The witness who gave evidence on the fourth day of the murder trial of Peter John Carroll, 52, has been granted name suppression.
Carroll denies murdering 36-year-old Tucker in an attack at an Addington address on April 24, 2016, the day before his burnt body was found by a group of fishermen beside Drain Road near Lake Ellesmere.
Carroll’s defence counsel, Tim Fournier, has told Justice Nicholas Davidson and a jury in the High Court at Christchurch that Carroll admitted the assault but said he did not intend to kill Tucker and it was a case of manslaughter rather than murder.
The Crown says the assault took place after a drug dealer was robbed of drugs worth $10,000 by three men at gunpoint in March 2016, and thought he knew one of the robbers, nicknamed “Ruckus”.
He told this to Carroll and a friend. They later became aware that Tucker was at the Addington address and he also had the nickname, “Ruckus”, though he had not been involved in the robbery.
The Crown says Tucker was assaulted and killed and the drug dealer was then told about it.
In evidence, the man said all three of the robbers had been armed with handguns. It had been a brazen robbery – none had been wearing masks.
When he met Carroll at Coe’s Ford he was told the body was in the boot of the car.
Carroll told him he “might have hit him too hard”. He wanted to burn the body to eliminate his DNA. They then went to a relative’s house to pick up a can of petrol, he said.
The man said he was present near Lake Ellesmere with Carroll when the body was dumped. He said he heard the swish of the carpet as Tucker’s wrapped body was taken out of the car’s boot, and he heard the glugging noise as the petrol was poured onto it.
They stayed only a minute after the body caught on fire, and they then drove away.
When he and Carroll and the friend were talking later, the friend said, “Two more to go.”
The man told the trial: “I said I didn’t want anything to do with that, it’s not happening.”
Cross-examined, the witness denied he had helped to get the body out of the boot and had poured the petrol over the body himself.
The trial is continuing.