Name suppression lifts on Woodend murder accused

Name suppression has lifted on an 18-year-old who today denied the murder of a man whose body was found at a Woodend property early in July.

Heath Eric Morris, of Woodend Beach, denied the charge of murdering Oliver Johnston, 20, when he appeared by video-link from prison in the High Court at Christchurch today.

He is charged with murdering Mr Johnston between June 23 and June 28.

August 5, 2019, has been set as the date for the High Court murder trial.

Defence counsel Kerry Cook said no bail application had so far been made for Morris, but an application for his release on electronically monitored bail would be made on October 4. That appearance will also be used for a pre-trial call-over.

Mr Cook told Justice David Gendall: “Mr Morris has had the benefit of interim suppression but that lapses today and there is no further application.”

Mr Johnston’s body was found on a property at Jelfs Road, Woodend, after police spent the weekend of June 30 to July 1 searching the property.

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