Justin Stein murder trial: Annemie Stein to give evidence over Charlise Mutten death

The mother of suspected killer Justin Stein has denied allegations that she fabricated the evidence, telling a court she heard a “sassy” voice in the background of a phone conversation that she believed belonged to Charlise Mutten, at a time when the schoolgirl was already dead, according to prosecutors.

Mr Stein now faces trial after pleading guilty to murder but admitting to disposing of the nine-year-old girl’s body.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering his former fiancée’s daughter, Kallista Mutten, on his parents’ property and dumping her body hidden in a plastic barrel near the Colo River.

However, he claims he saw Ms Mutten shoot her daughter on the family property on the evening of January 12, after the couple had spent the day sipping ice cream together and having sex in Sydney’s Centennial Park. Ms Mutten has denied shooting her daughter.

Taking the stand on Thursday, Annemie Stein, Mr Stein’s mother, denied claims that she fabricated the evidence to “help” her son after his indictment.

“CHEEKY VOICE”

While she told the court that she could not remember many phone conversations from that time, Annemie told the court that she “definitely” remembered a call she received from her son on the evening of January 12.

“I don’t know who called who… he said he had picked up Kallista and Charlise from the caravan park and they were back in Mount Wilson and I was not happy about that at all,” Annemie told the jury.

“He just said, ‘Mom, relax, it’s only for one night, tomorrow I’ll take her to Kallista’s friends.'”

She told the court that she heard someone screaming in the background: “Narelle, it’s only one night.”

When asked by Mr McKay who the voice was, she said it was “cheeky”.

“From what I understand, it was cheeky, the way it was said was cheeky, so to me it was the little girl,” she said of Charlise.

The jury was then shown footage of Annemie’s interrogation on the evening of January 14, the day Charlise was reported missing.

“MANY THINGS DON’T MAKE SENSE”

In the footage played to the jury, Annemie tells police: “I asked why they were in Mount Wilson. He said, ‘Mum, it’s OK, it’s just for one night.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not happy about it, but when you’re two hours away there’s not much you can do about it.'”

An officer then asks her if she can hear anyone in the background, to which she replies, “No.”

Prosecutor Ken McKay SC said Annemie did not hear a voice in the background during the phone call, but insisted this was “definitely” the case.

“When Justin told you about a woman who came onto the property, you did not tell the police, ‘I actually heard Charlise that night,'” McKay said.

Annemie said she “thought” she had told the police the details.

Mr McKay told the court that Annemie had given a statement for the first time this week about what she had heard in the background.

She said she changed her statement because “a lot of it didn’t make sense.”

“I would suggest to you that you added your statement that you heard a voice in the background to your statement to help your son after you knew about the police allegations against your son, even though you did not tell the police that in that interview on January 14. In fact, you said you did not hear any voices in the background,” McKay said.

She replied: “No.”

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Tim Kent, Annemie told the court that the relationship between Mrs Mutten and her daughter was not “as it should be”.

“The way she treated her child… the aggressiveness she showed toward her child, that was not a pleasant mother-daughter relationship as it should be,” she said.

“She was shot twice”

The jury heard that Annemie attended Katoomba Police Station on February 17, 2022, where she spoke to a detective and was shown photographs of firearms that police had discovered near the Mount Wilson property.

Mr McKay said the detective told Annemie that the fatal shot “appeared to be consistent with a rifle that was found”.

“They said, ‘She was shot twice, wasn’t she? That was reported?'” Mr McKay told Annemie.

Annemie said she couldn’t remember saying that.

The court heard the detective said Annemie police had only reported that Charlise “died from a gunshot wound. We have not released any further information.”

Annemie was told that telephone conversations between herself and Mr Stein from his time in custody after the indictment had been played to the jury, and she told her son that she had seen the police information sheet.

“No, I didn’t have the information sheet,” replied Mrs. Stein.

She subsequently stated in court that she had not received the facts from the police, but from a lawyer who was acting for her son at the time.

Mr McKay said she was aware of police claims “regarding the timing” of when Charlise was allegedly killed.

“When you read the fact sheet, you saw that the police made claims based on the facts about when Charlise was killed,” McKay said.

She replied: “No.”

At the beginning of her statement in court, Annemie explained that Charlise was a “very polite” girl, but also a “bit cheeky”.

In her evidence this week, Ms Mutten told the jury that Mr Stein told her Charlise woke up vomiting in the early hours of January 12 and that he left her in the care of an auctioneer before leaving to spend the day together.

The couple spent the day injecting ice and having sex before the jury heard that they arrived at the Mount Wilson property at around 8.44pm to find no one was home.

The jury heard that Mr Stein claimed he left to look for Charlise at around 4pm on January 13, but the prosecution allege he dumped the barrel containing Charlise’s body.

The barrel containing Charlise’s body was found on January 18, 2022, after police arrived at the location following a search of Mr. Stein’s phone.

The process continues.

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