The man who found Scott Guy's body at the gates to his Feilding farm has told a jury at a murder trial he thought the young father's throat had been cut.
Ewen Kerry MacDonald, 32, went on trial today in the High Court in Wellington today, pleading not guilty to murdering Guy, his brother-in-law, on July 8 2010.
Guy, who was 31, was shot twice at the gates to his farm on Aorangi Rd in Feilding.
Neighbour David Berry, who had been driving to work when he
discovered the body, said he checked Guy's pulse and thought his
throat had been cut.
"There was a bit of blood around the shoulders and the back of him," he said.
But Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk said MacDonald corrected Berry, saying Guy had been shot, even though no one had mentioned that Guy had been shot by that time.
Even police did not know Guy had been shot until they found shotgun cartridge wadding in his throat.
The Crown said tension and bitterness over the family farming business led to the killing and that MacDonald calmly ambushed Guy and killed him.
"He was killed by a shotgun blast to his throat, followed by a second shot to his face, hands and arms," Vanderkolk said.
The Crown produced a shotgun they say could have been used in the murder.
The blasts were fired in darkness from three or four metres away and Guy was trapped as he got out of his ute to open driveway gates that the killer had closed. The Crown said that it was not a case of mistaken identity or a drive-by shooting, but Guy was shot by someone who knew him.
Experienced criminal lawyer Greg King, representing MacDonald, argued in his opening statement that the case is "a proverbial classic whodunit" and that it is not the jury's job to solve but the Crown's to prove.
"This was murder. What the defence says, however, is that it wasn't Ewen Kerry MacDonald who committed that heinous crime," King told the jury.
The Crown also said that MacDonald admitted poaching trophy stags from a nearby farm with an associate, then burying the carcasses on the Guy property.
MacDonald and the same associate also admitted vandalising and setting fire to properties belonging to Guy and his wife Kylee, the Crown said.
King said: "Those acts have been acknowledged and accepted. They do not, the defence says, make him a murderer."
Notes abusing Kylee Guy were seen in the letterbox after the vandalism, as well as one reading "now you know how it feels to lose something you love," Vanderkolk said.
The Crown says what MacDonald loved was the Guy family farm which he worked on with Guy's sister Anna. But it claims he wanted it for himself and killed Guy to do so.
MacDonald was a pallbearer at Guy's funeral and was charged with his murder after a nine month police investigation.
The trial has been moved from Palmerston North to Wellington after the judge ruled last year that there was a risk jurors could be affected by rumour and speculation.
The jury of five women and seven men will hear from about 80
witnesses who will be called to the stand in a trial that could
last up to six weeks.