Justin Stein trial: Charlise Mutten murder trial enters final stages

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Alleged murderer Justin Stein addressed his final message to the jury that will decide his fate in a few days: “I never killed Charlise.”

After more than 40 witnesses, Mr Stein’s murder trial in the Supreme Court of New South Wales has entered its final phase.

Mr. Stein was the only witness called for the defense. All evidence will be concluded on Tuesday and closing arguments are scheduled to begin.

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

He pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted to disposing of the nine-year-old’s body.

During his final examination by prosecutor Ken McKay SC, Mr Stein denied all the allegations against him.

“The truth is that you killed Charlise Mutten,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Stein replied: “No, I never killed Charlise.”

Mr McKay repeatedly gave the impression that Mr Stein had fabricated lies and claimed that he had been looking for Charlise on the night of January 13, when in reality he had been looking for a place where he could dispose of the girl’s body.

“I would suggest to you that when you told Kallista Mutten that Charlise had been left with a woman, you did so because you knew you had killed Charlise Mutten and you needed to somehow explain why she was missing,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Stein answered all the accusations: “No.”

Charlise had travelled from Tweed Heads to Sydney on December 21, 2021, spending time alternating between Mr Stein’s family property in Mount Wilson, where she was allegedly killed, and the Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park in Lower Portland, about 90 minutes away.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Stein was the “last person” to see Charlise and had the opportunity to kill her between 7:16 p.m. on January 11 and 10:06 a.m. on January 12.

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

According to Ms Mutten, the couple spent the day injecting ice and having sex. The jury heard that they returned to the Mount Wilson property at around 8.44pm and found no one was home.

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.

Mr. Stein became emotional on Monday as he told the jury he saw Ms. Mutten shoot her daughter on the night of Jan. 12. Ms. Mutten denies the allegations.

The trial before Judge Helen Wilson continues.

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