Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scott Guy murder trial

I thought I'd provide a regular update of the "evidence" from this trial (in brief) so that at the end there is a summary/list we can check against.  This is taken from media reports only.  If someone thinks I've missed something important, please feel free to add it in the comments.

UPDATE - POST VERDICT

I'll close off this post by stating that a lot of my thoughts are splattered around the internet, and office  lunchrooms.  

On the one hand I can't help but think that if you're on the jury you're thinking "if it's not him, then who else was up at 4:45am (ish), with a gun, with unusual dive boots"?  But that's not their job.  Their job is to ask whether the Crown has proved Macdonald was the killer, beyond reasonable doubt.  The Crown does not prove no one else did it - they had to prove Macdonald did it.  And they couldn't do that.

All in all, the only winners here are Greg King and the Just Us system.  I write it that way because of my enduring belief there is no such thing as justice, just us.

The jury gave the right verdict.  The Police and the Guy family will be utterly demoralised and shattered.  Macdonald's life is still ruined.  He just doesn't spend 15+ years in jail.

Tomorrow is still winter.  The Black Caps are still useless at Cricket.  Summer will eventually arrive, and the Black Caps may improve.  But Scott Guy's wife and children will never see their husband and dad again.  No one but them can comprehend how impossibly hard that must be.


UPDATE - JURY IS OUT

Okay, I'm a little behind the eight ball here.  I haven't had time to update from last week.  But now that the jury is out, that's probably wise.

It appears to me the Crown case is essentially this (and I haven't seen or read any of the Crown summing up):
  • Guy was killed some time between 4:45am and 5am.  Macdonald was awake and about at that time.
  • Guy was killed by gunshots from a 12-gauge shotgun.  Macdonald had easy access to such a gun.
  • The killer wore very unusual and distinctive dive boots.  Macdonald had a pair, even if not found by the police.
  • The killer knew Guy's movements on the farm in the early morning; and knew the farm layout enough to know the gate had to be shut closed to make sure Guy got out of his truck.
  • Macdonald made comments about Guy being shot, when it seemed no one had confirmed the cause of death.
  • Macdonald had committed serious crimes against the property of Guy and his wife and the labrador puppies.
  • Macdonald had motive.
I disregard the last bit.  I think trying to explain human behaviour in criminal acts (why people act as they do) is too difficult and should be ignored.  

If it's not Macdonald then it's someone who: Is up very early in the morning; had a shotgun; wore those unusual dive boots; and knew the movements of Guy on the farm in the early hours.


UPDATED 22 JUNE

13 June:

Deceased killed by shotgun blasts from quite close range.   

Accused (Macdonald) makes comments that Guy killed after being shot, when no one had been told of the cause of death.  Some at the scene say they believe they heard he had been stabbed, but Macdonald corrects them.  Quite interesting and evidential, if jury accept it.

Macdonald and Guy have an apparent competitive relationship.  There are hints that Macdonald is jealous of Guy and "wanted" the farm.  Macdonald believed he worked harder on it than the deceased.  Mildly interesting, and of low evidential value.

Updated from comments (thanks, Steve F):

Guy senior testified that he thought his son could have been shot - he thought it was a neighbour (a Mr Johnstone) who put the idea in his head.


Guy did not know why he thought his son had been shot at that stage – as police had not confirmed it.  Perhaps Johnstone was going around telling the crowd this?

Several neighbours heard the shots.  Is it conceivable that as neighbours gathered at the police cordon rumours would start connecting the early morning shots with the killing?

Mr Johnstone was the second person at the scene to see Guy's body after being called by the neighbour who found him. It was Johnstone who had called Macdonald.

14 June:

Macdonald told police he gave Scott Guy "a blast'' about not pulling his weight on the farm.  So what.

Macdonald tells police he was not worried when Guy did not show up to do the milking on the morning he was killed because there were enough workers to get it done.

He sent a text message so he was definitely up and about in the very early morning.  He didn't call Guy's landline so he would not wake (wife) Kylee Guy. Mrs Guy's evidence earlier in the trial was that she never gave an instruction to him or the deceased about not waking her up with the landline.

Macdonald was close enough to see Mr Guy's body.  He tells police he thought he might have been the intended target, and also mentioned that the gates to Mr Guy's property were usually open (they were shut on the morning of the murder).

One suspect was ruled out by the alibi of a woman who smoked up to $3000 of methamphetamine a week and admitted threatening to kill a police officer and their family.  Detective Sergeant David Thompson agreed police used her statement as the sole alibi for a man linked to an aggravated robbery and firearms crimes ahead of Mr Guy's death.  Hardly a statement from a reliable witness

Police rule out possible criminal associations and extra-marital affairs.

Police evidence is that arson and vandalism attacks on the Guys' property were done by the killer.  They rule out a burglary gone wrong.

Macdonald tells police that three of the Guys' chocolate labrador puppies were missing.

15 - 20 June: 

More evidence of clashes between Guy & Macdonald.

Macdonald's statement said he and Mr Guy were "competitive" but not about the farm, more with personal things like starting a family.

The police the list of suspects - which included known criminals and drug users, some with access to firearms - was reduced down to Macdonald.

About 18 months before Mr Guy's death, graffiti was painted on his and his wife's new home, which was also damaged inside, while an old home on a trailer was burned down.

Under cross-examination, Mr Thompson told defence lawyer Peter Coles that a rough-looking man who stank of alcohol and cigarettes who was looking for Mr Guy in the days before he was killed was never found. Also not found was a mystery car that Mr Guy called 111 about four days before he died.

Police say there had been dozens of burglaries in the area, including seven that involved the theft of firearms and ammunition, and it was not clear how much had been recovered.

Macdonald tells police he first heard Scott Guy had died of a gunshot wound more than a day after the murder, contradicting previous evidence

Bryan Guy said he had been shot, and Macdonald thought Bryan Guy would have known because the police would have told him.
He said he owned one gun, a rifle his father had given him. Every other gun he used he borrowed from his father.

Until Mr Guy's death, Macdonald kept his rifle in a safe in his garage.  Following Mr Guy's death he decided to put his rifle in his father Bryan Guy's gun safe.

He did not know where Bryan Guy kept ammunition or the key to the safe until after Mr Guy's death.  Bryan Guy's evidence was that his gun wasn't locked away when Scott Guy was killed.

His radio alarm woke him at 4.50am.  After dressing, he returned to the bedroom before walking down the hallway, putting on his shoes and leaving his house.  He doesn't see Guy's ute there.

At 7.15am he receives a call from Bruce Johnstone about the murder.  He drives to the crime scene, where he was stopped by police from getting closer than six metres from the body.

He could see blood around Mr Guy's head.  He tells police that he remembered the gate was closed, which was unusual.

Interview with Macdonald & the crime scene

He repeatedly denies knowing anything about the attacks on the house.

He denied stealing the neighbour's deer as a trophy and denied his friend, former farmhand Callum Boe, had anything to do with it either.

Macdonald admits being upset after a family meeting to do with the farm, but felt it was cleared up.

Macdonald said that after the heated family meeting everyone tried to improve their communication and get along better.

He was aware that tension between himself and Mr Guy, particularly around Mr Guy's work hours, was affecting the workplace.

Macdonald then admits to burning down an old house on the Guys' property, vandalising a new house being built there and stealing two deer from a neighbouring farm.

But he denies murdering Mr Guy.  He says "...I don't think that would have achieved anything for me."  His work hours had increased and it had been a "total pain in the ass" without Mr Guy on the farm.

Detective Glen Jackson said there was plenty of opportunity for Macdonald to kill Mr Guy before the morning milking.

Macdonald replied another farm worker rostered on that morning would have suspected something.

Mr Jackson put it to him that it was "not normal" to burn down somebody's house, to which he replied he would not take a life.

Macdonald told police he committed the arson because he "thought that it would be funny" and that it wasn't directed at Scott and Kylee in vengeance.

Asked why he later damaged the new house, Macdonald said the partnership on the farm was not fair and he had "slogged my guts out".  He denied any knowledge of notes left in the Guys' letterbox.

Distinctive prints were found on the driveway near the body and on a grass verge.  Some were found close to the fence line which was not an area you would normally associate with anyone walking through.

Detective Jackson admits  he did not find anything at the scene to support a bike being involved.

Detective Ross Peat gave evidence that he noticed a "wavy pattern" in a couple of places near a cow shed where Mr Guy's chocolate labrador and puppies were kept.


Police found a set of tracks leading from the road to the shed in a paddock near Guy's body.

The track impressions were flagged, numbered and cast - but the two impressions at the cow shed were only photographed.

Mr Peat said he also found smudge marks on the driveway gate.  From the impressions he concluded a glove rather than a cloth had been used to touch the gate.

Mrs Macdonald tells the jury she would have expected "a change'' in her husband but there was none (after the murder).

Mrs Guy said she was "devastated'' when Scott told her the old house was destroyed.  The Guys later built a new house on the property.

The court hears that Macdonald was the first to alert police that the puppies were missing.
Guy's older sister Nikki, says he returned from feeding the puppies the night after Mr Guy was killed in an "animated state''.  Macdonald said three puppies were missing.


21 & 22 June:  

Vandalism on the Guy property came months after Macdonald and Boe torched an old home on the Guys' farm that burned to the ground.

Macdonald denies to his wife, while in prison on remand, that he was the killer.  "He said, 'No, I swear I didn't'."  But he did tell her what was going through his mind when he carried out the vandalism.

He said it was more directed at Kylee than Scott.  Mrs Macdonald said her husband denied hating them, but said he was angry.

Macdonald a keen hunter and had a gun in his hand from a very young age. 

Macdonald's father owns a Hunting and Fishing store which provided Macdonald cheap and easy access to hunting gear, including guns.

He often arranged for Macdonald to use guns from the shop for hunting trips but said Macdonald did not have access to any of his personal guns or work guns without him knowing.

Macdonald did not know the code to his dad's personal gunsafe and those working at his shop had to tell him if a gun had been borrowed.  The court has previously been told that Macdonald owned one shotgun, a gift from his father.

Macdonal never went on another long hunting trip after the birth of his third child.

Macdonald once owned a pair of dive boots - that the Crown alleges he wore on the morning of the murder.

Macdonald's motgher said the last time she saw a dive boot was when she was looking for the Macdonalds' spare key - kept in one of the boots - in 2008.

The month before the murder she stayed at the Macdonalds' house to babysit her grandchildren and remembered looking for the spare key but the dive boot was not there.

Mr Macdonald Snr said Macdonald used the boots in the evenings of their hunting trips.
The boots worn at the crime scene have never been found.

Police involved in searching the Macdonald property and 300ha farm, gave evidence that they did not find anything of significance on the property after Macdonald's arrest.



151 comments:

Steve F said...

Guy senior testified that he thought his son could have been shot and perhaps it was a Mr Johnstone who put the idea in his head.


(Day 3 court report - "....He locked the gun away within an hour of getting home on the day of the murder, he said. “Knowing that Scott had possibly been shot, I was particularly conscious of unlocked firearms.”
Mr Guy did not know why he thought his son had been shot at that stage – as police had not confirmed it –
but he said Mr Johnstone may have put the idea in his head........" )

….”
So maybe it was Mr Johnstone who put the idea into Mcdonalds head?

Several neighbours heard the shots....Is it conceivable that as neighbours gathered at the police cordon rumours would start connecting the early morning shots with the killing?

Steve F said...

Further to my post above.....
Mr Johnstone was the second person at the scene of the killing....
Day 2 court reports
".....Johnstone had been the second at the scene to see Guy's body after being called by the neighbour who found him. It was Johnstone who had called Macdonald....."

Psycho Milt said...

From the media coverage of the prosecution opening statement, I presume the footprints at the scene and his previous form for vandalising Guy's property will be the main planks of the case.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10812895

Its not direct evidence, but when Macdonald starting crying when his wife was testifying, may sway the jury more than anything.

They would be wondering, are those tears of remorse and regret for what he had done?

Especially when he hasn't shown any emotion at all right through the trial

Jimmie

Steve F said...

Day 8......

A cigarette butt is found at the crime scene. It is of the same brand ( Winstone Gold) as that stolen ( a full carton) in a recent aggravated burglary in the area. The cigarette does not appear to have been analysed for DNA evidence.
The perpetrator was given an alibi for the time of the shooting by a woman with a P habit and a record of threatening a police officer......This was the sole alibi of the suspect

The unsavoury male, smelling of alcohol and smoke, unkempt and suspicious according to Mr Berry who found Scott Guy in his driveway has never been identified or found. This suspect was asking for Scott Guys whereabouts some nights before the murder. He turned up at Scott's previous digs which were then occupied by Mr Berry the neighbour.

Anonymous said...

My opinion, the cops are barking up the wrong tree.

Anonymous said...

My opinion, the cops are barking up the wrong tree.

Steve F said...

"...He sent a text message so he was definitely up and about in the very early morning. He didn't call Guy's landline so he would not wake (wife) Kylee Guy. Mrs Guy's evidence earlier in the trial was that she never gave an instruction to him or the deceased about not waking her up with the landline......"

Perhaps Mrs Guy's comments are irrelevant? Scott could easily have decided this for himself without having to involve his wife. Mcdonald had stated in a police interview that it was Scott who suggested he not use the landline for the above reasons.

Anonymous said...

Steve F @ 8.27 smacks of the police building the case around a suspect rather than following leads to a conclusion. Who would have thought? I hope that's not the case - the only thing worse than a killer walking free is an innocent man being locked up.

3:16

Anonymous said...

Re Macdonald commenting on Scott Guy being shot: people who are familiar with shotgun wounds (e.g. hunters) won't have much difficulty distinguishing between stabbing and a shotgun wound.

If this alleged comment by Macdonald is a/the major plank of the prosecution case they are on thin ground.

Andrew Scobie said...

One thing that has puzzled me for a while is that there are reports of at least 2 neighbors that heard 3 shots in "quick succession" at around the time guy was murdered.

police believe that the fathers shotgun was the murder weapon. that shotgun was an under and over, it would have had to be reloaded in order to fire 3 shots.

i wouldn't have thought the killer would have had time to reload. and in order to reload it would have been 2 shots in quick succession and then one a moment later after it was reloaded.

3 shots would more likely come from a semi automatic shotgun.

gunpower residue would no doubt match between scott guy and the barrel of the gun that was used as the murder weapon due to the close proximity of the shooter.

did the police check the farm shotgun? has it recently been cleaned? if so, why, if not, then were are the results of the gunpowder analysis?

so many questions.

Anonymous said...

Jimmie,

Has it occurred to you the reason Ewen was sobbing when his wife testified is he misses his family, like any other human being?

I really hope the crown have got some actual concrete evidence to present. Based on the nonsense offered so far, if I was on the jury I would not convict, meanwhile this poor man and his family have suffered probably irreparable pain and damage, on top of the misery from Scott's death. In every family dynamic people do not get along sometimes.

Anonymous said...

The timeline suggested by the crown seems highly unlikely.

4.43am Ewen shot Scott

Sometime between the shooting and getting to the cow shed Ewen returns the firearm to the office so nothing untoward is noticed.

Just before 5am Ewen meets farmworker Matt at the milking shed, unlocks everything and disables the alarm at 5.03am, 1.5km away from the crimescene.

If Ewen used a vehicle, nobody heard it, which is unlikely. He would have to have ran like hell if he was on foot, which of course being out of breath would be very noticeable.

Two of the witnesses that heard gunshots said it was closer to 5am. One witness said they heard the shots at 4.45am. The police seem to have ignored the 5am accounts as that would mean Ewen would have a solid alibi. The time of death is only a guess by the police in any event. Scott's body was not discovered till after 7am.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the Police just admit they haven't got any idea who killed Scott?

Steve F said...

Concerning the comments of McDonald and Scott Guy being shot

Day 3's court reports....
Mr Johnstone a neighbour arrives after Mr Berry. Mr Berry is the first to discover Scott Guy at the scene.
McDonald arrives after Mr Johnstone.
You can be sure a lot of speculation would have ensued.There would have been anxiety, shock and disbelief all around. The adrenaline would have kicked in on all at the scene. All sorts of rumours would have been started.

Mr Guy senior had testified that he thought it was Mr JHognstone would put the idea into his head about Scott being shot. Mr Johnstone was the person who phoned Mcdonald to inform him of Scotts death. McDonald in turn phone Guy senior. Nothing was said about any shooting. A few minutes later they are all gathered at the crime scene.
Entirely plausible that McDonald would have picked up a rumour about a shooting especially as the shots were heard earlier in the morning throughout the neighbourhood.

Regarding the shots heard in the morning....

Day 3 reports: there are conflicting reports. One says three shots, one says two, another says one shot. The common thread seems to be that the timing is close to 5am.
The neighbour who heard three shots says she was still a bit sleepy. She may have heard a ricochet or echo that could account for a third sound like a shot. The most definitive statement comes from Mr Sharp who heard "boom, boom"....so two shots.38

Steve F said...

Further on the "he's been shot" comments

Day 5 reports.......

"Just after Matthew Ireland turned into the Guy family farm on July 8, 2010, he saw a four-door car drive along Aorangi Rd.
As he turned into the farm gate, the dashboard clock on his car said it was 4.45am.
But the clock had been set fast so Mr Ireland, who was doing work experience at the Guy family farm, wouldn't be late and defence lawyer Greg King suggested he arrived at 4.40am.
In the murder trial of Ewen Kerry Macdonald, 32, the Crown alleges he shot his brother-in-law Scott Guy at the gates of Mr Guy's property at 4.43am.

On day five of the trial at the High Court in Wellington today, Mr Ireland said he saw the four-door sedan. While waiting in the car, he had a smoke and listened to music because a light popped on at Macdonald's house. Macdonald then arrived on a day Mr Guy was supposed to start early.
"Ewen walked passed me and said 'hi' and unlocked the shed," Mr Ireland said.
"He looked like he had just woken up - wiping his eyes."
He was unsure what time fellow farm worker Simon Asplin showed up.
Mr Ireland said he and Macdonald shared a joke about Mr Guy sleeping in.
"I asked if Scotty had slept in and we had a little laugh about it."
Mr Ireland twice asked Macdonald if he should go to wake Mr Guy, but Macdonald said not to worry about it. The second occasion was halfway through milking and that would have left the workers two hands down if Mr Ireland had left.
Macdonald said he tried to text and phone Mr Guy, but had not got a response.

About 8.30am, when word of Mr Guy's death was spreading, Mr Ireland said he told Mr Asplin that Mr Guy was dead and something happened to his throat.
Mr Ireland said he did not tell Mr Asplin Mr Guy had been shot and did not know that was the cause of death for a couple of days.
Mr Asplin had previously told the court Mr Ireland said Mr Guy was shot.
When Mr Ireland asked who could have done such a thing to Mr Guy, Mr Asplin snapped and told him to go and do some work.


Conflicting statements..so who's telling the truth? Either way one of them or both of them mentioned about Scott being shot. McDonald isn't mentioned as a source of the comment. So perhaps another source for "He's been shot" ???

Steve F said...

The following court reports on Nikki Guy and her testimony……

“…However, Guy's older sister Nikki told the court last week Macdonald had insisted Scott had been shot that morning as the family gathered immediately after her brother's body
was found. Evidence given by Scott Guy's sister, Nikki Guy, earlier in the trial said Macdonald told her and others at the police cordon on the morning of July 8 that Mr Guy had been shot - something the crown alleges only the killer would have known until police confirmed the method of death the next day….”


“…He was also asked if anyone else might have a grudge against Mr Guy or the family.The only things Macdonald could think of were Scott Guy’s father Bryan’s involvement in the merger of the Tui and Kiwi dairy companies, and "a Fijian guy" who went out with Scott’s sister Nikki for a while. Macdonald said he and his wife Anna thought the man was no good for Nikki and had one night told him he wasn’t welcome at their house when he came around with Nikki to babysit.When he was drunk in town one night, someone had heard the man saying Ewen and Anna Macdonald were trying to break him and Nikki up….”

<<<<<<<…..She may have heard Scott say something about a shooting , but he would have only been thinking this at the time after talking with Bryan Guy……..What is the relationship between McDonald and Nikki Guy given the disagreement over her former boyfriend ?.....>>>>

“…….Macdonald said he didn’t know how Mr Guy had died until July 9.
"The first time I knew for sure that the information about Scott’s throat being cut was wrong was after Bryan [Guy] talked to police on Friday."
Even on July 8, Bryan Guy had doubted his son’s throat being slit and said as much to his wife Jo when she said that was awful.
"I recall Bryan saying, nah, I think he’s been shot. He also questioned me but I told him I had not got close enough to tell," Macdonald said.
But in a statement to police in the month following Mr Guy's death he said the first time he heard the newswas on the day after his death. Bryan Guy said he had been shot, and Macdonald thought Bryan Guy would have known because the police would have told him. He remembered even on the night Mr Guy was found dead, Bryan Guy was not convinced his son's throat had been cut……..”

<<<<<<<…………Bryan Guy had suspected from the outset that Scott had been shot…..He has testified earlier to this. McDonald stated he only knew FOR SURE the day after. That dosen’t preclude him from THINKING on the day , given his conversations with Bryan Guy, that he had been shot ……..>>>>>>>>>>

Baxter said...

STEVE F....Where are you getting all the detail from. The newspaper reports I have read online have very little.......Your comments on McDonald not wishing to disturb Kylee Guy by using the landline. That seems alot of consideration from a man who admits to painting graffiti all over her house describing her asa whore.

Steve F said...

@ Baxter, June 21st

Otago Daily Times...Day 8.....

"..He sent a text message and tried to call Mr Guy's cellphone, but he did not call his landline so he would not wake Kylee Guy.
"Scott had previously asked me not to phone because Kylee was pregnant and the landline phone was right beside her bed."
Mrs Guy earlier gave evidence that she had never given that instruction.."

Steve F said...

Re: Crime scene evidence….
Dompost Day 11…

…… A shotgun wad was found at the scene and pellet strikes on fences post and trees at the scene. The pellets were removed and kept as evidence……...


“..By examining the wadding, the investigator can determine the type of shot, gauge of the gun, and other possible evidence to identify the gun….Pg 199

“….It is often possible to get a ballistic match from a shotgun. A metallurgical comparasion between a shot recovered from a body or other target and a shot recovered in association with the suspects property may be acceptable….”
Pg 202
Girad, J. Criminalistics: Forensic Science, Crime and Terrorism. 2011, Jones & Bartlett Learning : Sudbury, Masachussetts.


Awaiting reports on the crime scene analysis with regards to the shotgun.

Steve F said...

Re; Crime scene evidence, boot prints...

Manawatu Standard, 12/6/2012

....The Crown says shoe prints at the scene belong to size nine dive boots worn by the killer.......


Does it have to be a size nine foot wearing the alleged size nine dive boots...flexible rubber boots with soft soles and a zipper down to the ankle...?

The prosecution has made it known that the perpetrator went to lengths to throw the police off the trail....

Frank said...

Finally found a blog/forum with some intellectual analysis. It seems the crown case hinges on two main points; the fact he committed criminal damage to the old/new house & therefore when that didn't scare them off, he killed Scott. Secondly, the boot pattern.

Firstly, I struggle to believe that someone who commits criminal damage, would then automatically escalate to cold blooded pre-meditated murder. Esp when a father of four with a loving wife who happens to be the sister of your intended victim. Of course, it's possible, but it's a huge leap to make. Also, considering that they had both been away recently together & came back mentioning how they had a good time together & had some big deep
& meaningful conversations about working smarter together etc.

As, for the boots, this is becoming a stronger link & it would seem Ewen's mother may have helped the crown's case today by stating she had seen one of the boots at Ewen's Aorangi rd property, where Anna had denied ever seeing them. An interesting conflict - one would say that Anna would know better than the mother,
but then is Anna trying to convince herself they were
never there & subsequently (in her mind) exonerating her
husband.

Apart from the obvious defence case in regards to the mystery man, Scott calling 111 re strange car four days before he was shot, drug addict alibi & winny gold cigarette, car cruising past farm worker around time of murder. I would definitely be bringing in ballistic experts & attempting to rule out the shot gun that was unsecured
in the office. I also have issues with the time frame. If he is shot at 'closer to 5' even say 4:45 as one neighbour claims. Then he has cycled 1.5km with 3puppies & a shot gun, gone unseen by Matthew Ireland who was waiting at his house to start work, killed all 3puppies without them making noises, stashed them in a hiding
place, gone into office & broken down gun & put back in
place, crept back into his dark house & 'popped on a light' & sleepily walked out to greet Matthew right on 5am without showing any sign of sweat, adrenaline, elevated heart racing, remembering what he has just done in past 15mins. It's far fetched IMO, let alone
physically possible? He would've had to have stolen the puppies prior to the shooting - would he really run the risk of the dogs barking & alerting Scott or even Scott going in to check/feed them before leaving & noticing 3 missing. Also, the risk of Kylee Guy hearing the shots 50m away & rushing to a window & seeing him biking off is a huge consideration to make/risk if pre-planning the
murder.

At this stage I feel 'reasonable doubt' is a definite possibility, however the defence need to somehow eliminate the diving boot link, or at least put some kind of doubt into it i.e when was the last time someone ever saw him wear them when hunting etc.

I hope the Juror's are smart, balanced & methodical people, as opposed to my mother who has said ever since he was arrested 'that bastard is guilty' despite seeing/hearing any evidence.

Steve F said...

Re; Unidentified vehicles at the time of the murder

TV3 News,14/6/2012

"...Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Peter Coles, Mr Thompson revealed that two cars that had been sighted on the morning of July 8 had not been located.
Farm hand Matthew Ireland told the court earlier this week that he saw the cars, one as he drove down Aorangi Rd and one as he turned into the farm driveway which he described as a four-door sedan.
“As I was turning into the tanker track…I didn’t take much notice…it did sound like a boy racer car, it had a bit of a muffler to it”, he said on Monday.
But today, Mr Thompson said even after a nationwide publicity campaign, no one came forward having either seen the cars or driven them.
He also said the man who had turned up at Mr Guy’s neighbour David Berry’s house asking after him had never been found...."

The driver's of these cars either:
Never watch the TV ,never listen to the radio, never read the paper, never talk to mates, never go to the pub and therefore had no knowledge of the crime committed along the road they were driving, at or very close to the time the crime was committed.

or

They are associated with the crime in some way and in keeping with human nature, haven't come forward.

Steve F said...

Re;The timing of witness accounts of gunshots being heard


@ Frank 22/6/2012 10.32pm
“..I also have issues with the time frame. If he is shot at 'closer to 5' even say 4:45 as one neighbour claims….”
@ Anomynous 15/6/12 8.39pm
“..Two of the witnesses that heard gunshots said it was closer to 5am. One witness said they heard the shots at 4.45am. The police seem to have ignored the 5am accounts as that would mean Ewen would have a solid alibi.

TV3 News 7/12/2012
"....A digital bedside clock belonging to another neighbour has come under question as defence lawyers try to ascertain when the shots that killed Mr Guy were fired. Derek Sharp says he was woken by two gun shots at 4:45 on the morning of the murder.
He says even though his clock was displaying 5:00, it was 15 minutes fast and the actual time was 4:45.
Mr Sharp says his bedside clock is never on time because transmission lines nearby interfered with its accuracy.
He had a system of changing the time based on his wristwatch and the time announced on National Radio, but insisted he always knew how far out his bedside clock was.
Defence lawyer Peter Coles questioned the accuracy of Mr Sharp’s system, saying it could have been wrong on the morning of July 8....."

Mr Sharp’s clock would gradually gain time, so a little bit each hour rather than say 15 minutes all at once. So when was the last time he reset his clock before he heard the shots? Was it the evening before when he went to bed, was it the afternoon before or even the morning before? Does his clock gain 15 minutes a day? If he reset the clock the evening before when he went to bed then perhaps it was only 3 or 4 minutes fast.
Whatever the case it is unreliable clock. The correlation between all witness accounts including Mr Sharp is of gunshots being heard close to 5am.

Frank said...

@ Steve F,

So how did the police decide upon the exact time of 4.43?
Was this the lowest estimate of witness accounts, so suits their case the best?

Surely the farm worker who was waiting back at Ewen's
at approx 4.40-4.45am, becomes a key part of the defence. Where exactly was he parked? On Aorangi rd? If so, surely he has to see Ewen biking back to his house clad with 3 puppies & a shot gun?

Even using police times as a basis - it puts the worker @ Ewen's house before Ewen returns.

If I was defence, I would be licking my lips in anticipation of taking this police case apart....just those boots are proving a stumbling block.

The Veteran said...

Does anyone else have the feeling that, whatever the result, this is going to be but Scene #1 in a long drawn out saga.

Steve F said...

Re; The window of opportunity

@ Frank 23/6/2012 1.16pm
“…So how did the police decide upon the exact time of 4.43?
Was this the lowest estimate of witness accounts, so suits their case the best?...”


The window of opportunity in the crown’s case has a start and end point. It ends at 5.03am, which is a definitive time based on the security company’s evidence that the alarm was deactivated at this time.
The start of the window is not definitive. The crown’s police witness who analyzed the computer of Scott Guy’s was slightly erroneous in front of the Jury attempting to declare the last keystroke at 0441.41secs. In fact under cross it transpired that 19 seconds later the internet browser was reopened and there is no was of telling when the user ( we assume Scott Guy) walked away from it. So the earliest time the crown have for their window is 4.42am. But arguably, it could be later. They have allowed one minute for him to go out the door, perhaps put on his boots, jump in his ute, start it up and drive to the end of the driveway up to the gate, get out, walk over to the gate then be confronted with two barrels of a shot gun.
Of course the time of death cannot be defined to the absolute minute, especially since the medical examiner probably couldn’t collect any data until about 3 or 4 hours later. So it could be 4.48am, 4.53am or any minute up to about 5.00am.

4.43am is two minutes before the earliest time witnesses heard the shots. That is Mr Sharp’s testimony, the witness who described an unreliable clock. But there no precise evidence as to when the shots were fired so 4.43am it is.
For the crown to continue with their scenario they have now a window of say 12 minutes for McDonald to push bike back to his home, sneak in around the back somewhere because he would have known Mathew Ireland was waiting up the drive outside the milking sheds. He then has to slip the shotgun back into the office (unless he managed this a bit later in the morning) break it down into pieces ( which dosen’t take long, it is a quick task) and leave it looking as though no one has moved it. He then slips into the back of his house having previously hidden the boots somewhere for later disposal, and turns on a light ( the light that Mathew Ireland sees turn on) and walks out his front door. That would take him until about 4.55 am or even 5.00am because as soon as he comes out of the house, according to Mathew Ireland they walk straight over to the milking shed unlock it and deactivate the alarms.

This scenario can only work if McDonald had left his house much earlier in the morning, push biked up to Guy’s property and removed the puppies taking time to dispose of them, and then return to the driveway and lie in wait.

So, as the defence pointed out in their opening address, it all comes down to the timing. In the absence of other circumstantial evidence the scenario above could be argued with a skilled advocate to instill reasonable doubt in a jury’s deliberations.
But it is the preponderance of circumstantial evidence that could well tip the scales…particularly the crowns evidence presented on day 13.

Dompost 21/6/2012
“…..Macdonald fed the dogs the day after the killing and told police scene guard Brian Reynolds that "the pups seemed OK but there should have been seven…”

How did McDonald know there were seven?...The litter was eight puppies and unbeknown to him one was given away two day’s before the murder by Scott Guy’s wife. He attempted to correct his mistake 7 minutes after he told this to the crime scene police guard by telephoning a detective involved in the case and said;

“…About seven minutes later, Macdonald phoned
DS Milligan to correct what he said. "He advised me ... it was a litter of eight but one had died," Mr Milligan told the court.(Dompost 12/6/2012)

So I’m starting to think the accused has a problem……..

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Ewen MacDonald killed Scott Guy, it is possible, however, that he knows who the murderer is.

Anonymous said...

Do we know for sure that Ewen had no prior knowledge the previous 2 days that there were only seven pups? Could Scott or Bryan or Matthew not have mentioned to him that there were 7 pups?

I can't find it now but I recall one of the neighbours quoting Ewen as saying " Poor Scotty , that wasn't supposed to happen" or something similar as he was crying.

That always made me wonder if he had arranged theft of pups with someone else...certainly a likely scenario given his other offending. Maybe the car that Matthew Ireland heard drive off as he was waiting had carried out the theft and took the pups, and possibly the dive boots- but somewhere it all went wrong when the accomplice shot Scott.

So Ewen thought only the puppies were going to be snatched, but then gets told Scott's been killed.

He can't use this as a defence as that would implicate him directly.

It would explain his grief the morning of and talking to his folks- which sounded pretty authentic- it's pretty hard to fake tears and real emotion without someone picking up on that- especially for a stoic farmer type who isn't known for being emotional.

He felt bad because he had planned another mean stunt...but certainly not murder.

Frank said...

I agree with this theory. I was thinking over the weekend that this may have been 'arranged' possibly?

Steve F said...

@ Anomynous 25/6/12 11.30am

"....Do we know for sure that Ewen had no prior knowledge the previous 2 days that there were only seven pups? Could Scott or Bryan or Matthew not have mentioned to him that there were 7 pups?


DOMPOST 20/6/12
"...Mr Reynolds said he showed Macdonald how to get to the cowshed.
As he was walking Macdonald back to the car Macdonald made a comment that they were three pups short.
Mr Reynolds then reported it to a police officer..."

DOMPOST 14/6/12
"...Mr Thompson said Macdonald informed police the day after Mr Guy's death that three of the Guys'
chocolate labrador puppies were missing...."

McDonald could have been told by Scott the day before he was murdered that the puppy litter was down to seven. If he had, then he would have also mentioned that one was given away, which was the reason the litter went from eight to seven.
The other two ( Bryan Guy & Mathew Ireland) are still around to testify regarding the litter size and whether they told the accused, but they haven't so that only leaves Scott, who unfortunately can't testify.

If indeed Scott did say the litter was seven and one was given away, then why did McDonald, 7 minutes after he left the crime scene from feeding the puppies, phone DS Mulligan and say there were eight originally and one died?..."
Dosen't make sense....It is as if he returned to his house where family members were gathered, talked about feeding the puppies and only four being there, then suddenly realised his mistake ( perhaps he was told there should have been eight) and hurriedly tried to rectify his discrepancy.

Anonymous said...

Well I realise Ewen didn't know one had been given away, but that doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned to him there were 7 pups. Once he found out there were originally 8 he was just letting the cops know i.e. being forthcoming with information that might help with their enquiry. Presumably the cops asked everyone else if they knew how many pups there were and if they'd discussed with Ewen at all.

Anonymous said...

Scott and Kylee may have kept it quiet they had given dog away as they didn't want everyone else thinking they cd have a free pup too...so maybe others thought there were only 7 too.

Anonymous said...

Scott and Kylee may have kept it quiet they had given dog away as they didn't want everyone else thinking they cd have a free pup too...so maybe others thought there were only 7 too.

Steve F said...

Re; The missing puppies

@Anonymous 26/6/2012 12.42am

"....Scott and Kylee may have kept it quiet they had given dog away as they didn't want everyone else thinking they could have a free pup too...so maybe others thought there were only 7 too......"

@Anonymous 26/6/2012 12.34am
“…Well I realise Ewen didn't know one had been given away, but that doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned to him there were 7 pups. Once he found out there were originally 8 he was just letting the cops know i.e. being forthcoming with information that might help with their enquiry. Presumably the cops asked everyone else if they knew how many pups there were and if they'd discussed with Ewen at all….”


These are possible deductions. The probability of them occurring occurring is debatable. However approaching this piece of evidence from more angles, I believe it now sits in the "reasonable doubt" court unless we hear further testimony.

Steve F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve F said...

Re; The dive boot evidence.

Manawatu Standard 26/6/2012
“….Defence lawyer Greg King made him look at four samples of Proline boot.
On the size seven, Mr Neale counted 25 “wavy” rows. There were 29 or maybe 30 on the size nine.
On a “worn” size 10, there were 29 or 30, and a size 11 had 30 or 31 wavy rows.
Mr King said that would mean there were probably 32 or 33 rows on a pair of size 12.
“I couldn’t say for sure. It could be an inference though,” Mr Neale said.
“It appears doesn’t it, to go up by two rows per size?” Mr King asked.
“Of the example boots that were submitted, approximately yes.”
“If you’re calculation is correct there’s no way in the world that it can be a pair of Proline size 9 boots,” Mr King said.
Mr Neale said that would be correct for the examples he had seen, but he had only seen one example of each size of boot.
Mr King said it appeared that as the size of the Proline boot increased, there would be two more wavy rows.
He said a size nine pair could not have made the impressions found around Mr Guy’s body…..”


Stuff ( Deborah Morris) 26/6/2012
“…However, this morning the jury heard the size-nine boot that was examined had fewer wavy rows than the rows counted from casts at the scene. Police have not found the dive boots that made the impressions at the scene.
Forensic scientist David Neale agreed there were 32-33 rows on the three casts he had counted and the size-nine Proline boot he had as a sample had fewer than that, between 29 and 30.


It seems as though the defence have effectively dismantled this strand of evidence which, if you believe the emphasis from the media, was a major plank of the crown's case. I just wonder if expert witness Mr Neale was properly prepared for the cross examination because from the court reports on Day 16 he seems to have been left floundering in such a major case with so much hanging on the expert witness testimony surrounding circumstantial evidence.

Frank said...

Hi Steve - have to agree, saw the news on TV3 website & Greg King has done a brilliant job at casting huge doubt over the mystery dive boots. When he directed the question 'could that size 9 Proline dive boot have made those impressions' and the answer came back as 'no' - it felt a little bit like when the black glove didn't fit on OJ's hand.

I'll be interested to see what witnesses/experts the
defence call in.

Steve F said...

Re; Reasonable doubt

Jurors were typically told on a number of occasions throughout the trial that
the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove all the ingredients of the
offence “beyond reasonable doubt”. The judge invariably included this in the
summing-up. However, in conformity with appellate court direction, judges did
little to elaborate on this or explain what it meant, assuming that “beyond
reasonable doubt” was a well understood term which juries would apply in a
common sense fashion.
“Juries in Criminal Trials –Part two. Warren Young,; Law Commission Preliminary Paper 37 – Vol 2. Nov 1999, Wellington, NZ


The Canadian Position –
In Canada, the courts clearly believe that the expression "beyond a reasonable doubt" requires clarification for the benefit of the jury……..
…….Following R. v. Brydon the Supreme Court of Canada, in R. v. Lifchus, answered in the affirmative. In part, they wrote "The correct explanation of the requisite burden of proof is essential to ensure a fair criminal trial..."

The elements that should be included in
▪ the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is inextricably intertwined with that principle fundamental to all criminal trials, the presumption of innocence;
▪ the burden of proof rests on the prosecution throughout the trial and never shifts to the accused;
▪ a reasonable doubt is not a doubt based upon sympathy or prejudice;
▪ rather, it is based upon reason and common sense;
▪ it is logically connected to the evidence or absence of evidence;
▪ it does not involve proof to an absolute certainty; it is not proof beyond any doubt nor is it an imaginary or frivolous doubt; and
▪ more is required than proof that the accused is probably guilty ‑‑ a jury which concludes only that the accused is probably guilty must acquit.

The elements to be avoided -
▪ describing the term “reasonable doubt” as an ordinary expression which has no special meaning in the criminal law context;
▪ inviting jurors to apply to the task before them the same standard of proof that they apply to important, or even the most important, decisions in their own lives;
▪ equating proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” to proof “to a moral certainty”;
▪ qualifying the word “doubt” with adjectives other than “reasonable”, such as “serious”, “substantial” or “haunting”, which may mislead the jury; and
instructing jurors that they may convict if they are “sure” that the accused is guilty, before providing them with a proper definition as to the meaning of the words “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Wikepedia; Reasonable Doubt; retrieved 7.00pm 26/6/2012


The crowns case is a rope of strands of circumstantial evidence.

So if I summarize to date the postings on this blog we could see how strong the stranded rope of the crown's case remains;

Strand one; That the accused knew for certain Scott Guy was shot before it was confirmed by the police - Reasonable doubt

Strand two; That the murder weapon was probably Bryan Guys shotgun kept in the farm office - Reasonable doubt

Strand three; That the fatal shots were fired at 4.43am - Reasonable doubt

Strand four; That the accused stole three puppies, and only he could have known three were stolen, to throw police off the trail - Reasonable doubt

Strand five; That the dive boot impressions gathered at the scene were size nine and were from boots owned by the accused - Reasonable doubt

Strand six; That the malicious damage and arson committed by the accused prior to the murder was directed at Scott Guy and pointed to motive for cold blooded murder by shotgun - Reasonable doubt

Strand seven; That there were no other suspects to fit the crime - Reasonable doubt

Strand eight; That the accused used a bicycle to travel to and from the crime scene - Reasonable doubt

I am not sure how many more strands of evidence remain and what is to come from further crown testimony and defence cross examination, but the rope is looking like it is unravelling fast.

Anonymous said...

It looks like that is all the Crown have. Whoever made the decision to prosecute on this flimsy stuff should be named and shamed.

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous June 27th 11.01am
"...It looks like that is all the Crown have. Whoever made the decision to prosecute on this flimsy stuff should be named and shamed...."


It might be early days yet, we haven't had a verdict, but the following preamble form the Law Commission reports may give you some background. Unlike the UK NZ doesn't have a crown prosecution service but relies on private practitioners contracted to the state to prosecute cases......

NZ Law Commission report (R66) on prosecutor’s powers

Crown Solicitors and indictable proceedings
Crown Solicitors to oversee prosecutions before the preliminary hearing........

91) Crown Solicitors have a discretion regarding two vital aspects of a prosecution:
• whether a prosecution should be brought by indictment; and, if so,
• what charges should be proffered against an accused.

92) However, Crown Solicitors do not become involved in an indictable prosecution until long after it has commenced, and therefore exercise their discretionary powers late in the process. Depositions files, or records of the evidence given at a preliminary hearing, are forwarded to Crown Solicitors by the Registrar of the District Court some time after the preliminary hearing has been conducted.

93) Late involvement by Crown Solicitors limits the effectiveness of their role as independent public prosecutors by restricting the scope of their powers of oversight and discretion to charge. The existing system is inefficient because the individual with the ultimate power to decide whether a prosecution is to proceed and what form it should take cannot make those decisions until very late in the process. It is also clearly desirable that the independent review of the investigation charging decision should be carried out as early as possible.

94) In their submission, the police were opposed to the earlier mandatory involvement of Crown Solicitors in indictable cases……
……By contrast, Crown Solicitors were in favour of such a change. The Ministry of Justice was concerned that earlier involvement would have significant cost implications.

The future………………
At present, the transfer occurs after certain preliminary steps in the pre-trial process have been concluded. Under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (sections 184-193), most of which will come into force in 2013, it is likely that Crown Solicitors will take over the case at an earlier stage (perhaps immediately after the entry of a not guilty plea). However, the precise point at which the Crown Solicitor will assume responsibility is to be defined by Regulations....

Frank said...

I have very little faith in the NZ judicial process & despite this flimsy evidence, I expect the jury to find him guilty.

As in the Bain, Watson cases etc, where circumstantial evidence is key in a 'whodunnit' case, they more often than not, convict.

You speak to most Joe Public & they believe he is guilty
- I would not be surprised if the jury finds the same. As I
previously said, I may be a little cynical, as I have little faith in the process. I personally feel NZ is too small & due to this, the media scrutiny/coverage & high profile pressure is too intense in order for the 'accused' in these cases to have a fair & truly impartial jury.

In massively high profile murder investigations & trials like this, I believe the only way of a fair trial, would
be if foreigners i.e Australians made up the jury. People who were called in who had no idea who Ewen MacDonald & Scott Guy were pre trial & were there purely to judge the case on the merits of the evidence before them.

dad4justice said...

Justice is a sick joke in NZ.
RIP mum.
C##ts will pay one day!

Valerie Jefferies said...

Week 15-20th June:

In one sentence you state that Macdonald get's dressed and leaves the house to go to the milking shed (work) but that he then tells police he remembered the gates to the Guy's home were closed?

Are you saying that Macdonald drove past the Guy's driveway and noted the gates were closed, but that he didnt see the ute in the driveway with it's light's on? In the questioning it was established that the ute was parked just 4 metres from the gates.

If macdonald in anyway had to drive past that property on his way to work, he would have seen the gates, but the fence line and the gatesd are quite low and open so not obstrusive. Anyone driving along that stretch of road would have seen the ute parked at the gates with headlights on as it was dark.

It seems to be what is being said here. If you look at pictures of the murder scene you'll note the above. So back to what you said about him telling the police that he saw the gates were closed? When was that? As he was driving by on the way to work? If thats the case he would have seen the car and known Scott was on his way.

So he get's to work, and for quite some time, Scott doesnt arrive... what gives? Why did he not ring Scott on his cell phone to ask him what the hold up was? He doesnt do it for quite some time and in fact he does say to one or two iof the workers in reply that he doesnt know where he is...he certainly doesnt make reference to him, "Being on his way" does he?

Valerie Jefferies said...

You've also got to question why he will not get on the stand? Lawyers know from evidence produced what a "run off at the mouth" this guy is from the tapes... so they've advised him not to take the stand. nice one. I firmly believe that anyone tried for murder should take the stand and if he hadn't done it he would have nothing to hide in taking the stand actually in my opinion.

Only people who uhave something they need to hide or suppress would avoid it. The justice system here sucks. You can jail a man for over 10-15 yrs after he is accused of killing his own family...not a shred of evidence. You can jail a guy that "supposedly" kills a couople in the Marlborough Sounds with little evidence also, and not even dead bodies to go by... but some lying, arsonist get's personal and does horrible viscious damage to two homes of one man and his wife, happens to have dive boots like prints found at the murder scene, is a good shot and has hunted all his life it seems, and far more evidence than in the two cases above and he walks New Zealand without having to even take the stand? Something needs to be done about this justive system if that is what happens tomorrow. It makes me sick.

My partner had to go in and repair the windows Macdonald shattered all through the house and spoke to Scott whilst there and he honestly was such a nice guy he had not one clue why he would have any ememies that could do that sort of thing. Sad...just so damned sad. Nothing makes sense in this damned country anymore where government and justice is concerned.

Anonymous said...

"Has it occurred to you the reason Ewen was sobbing when his wife testified is he misses his family, like any other human being?

I really hope the crown have got some actual concrete evidence to present. Based on the nonsense offered so far, if I was on the jury I would not convict, meanwhile this poor man and his family have suffered probably irreparable pain and damage, on top of the misery from Scott's death. In every family dynamic people do not get along sometimes."

Had it occured to you that this guy is so respectful of the family he has been sneaking around doing damage for the past few years without his wife's knowkedge, and whether he is found innocent or not, because she knows he has done the arson and the vandalism and hidden it from her as well as his resentment, that she will probably never really be able to trust him again??? Would you as a woman? Sorry...I would not even allow him near the kids when he had done his time either.

Whatever they decide tomorrow, I think Anna Macdonald is a mug if she ever entertains the guy again after that much. I honestly would not. Not after the violence and then a brother dying such a violent death and so much uncertainty in the trial. Dream on!

Frank said...

Hi Valerie - the only discussion re the gates in regards to Ewan MacDonald & police was that he said in his original statement that he noticed (once at the murder scene) one of the gates was closed and that Scott left them open all the time. At no time did he drive past Scott's farm & see them closed.

It's also on record that he text Scott @ 5.03am & asked 'R u up'? He then also called him @ 5.40am on the
morning of the murder. Scott did not answer & he wasn't particularly worried as they had enough workers to cover the morning milking work.

Anonymous said...

Yes Valerie, Frank is correct, Ewen told the cops the gates are normally open once they were all at the scene later in the morning, after he had turned up on his quad bike.

What seems weird is the defence not calling people to testify on Ewen's behalf, to say what a good guy he was, just as Scott has had done for
him. Is that because no one would vouch for Ewen or is it not admissible as evidence?

Scott most likely was a nice guy, to ur partner and his wife, friends and family. But there are other people quoted as saying he pissed off a lot of people and was an arrogant twat etc. He also turns up home after going off doing his own thing for years and tells everyone he wants the farm to be given to him and Ewen can stay on as a worker... Even his own sister was pretty torn up by this. That's a pretty cruel thing to do to ur sister and husband who has worked his arse off for years for your family. Just because he seemed nice to ur partner and said he didn't know who did it doesn't automatically mean he is a completely faultless victim. We've all heard, Ewen's actions weren't random baseless attacks, but because of his frustration with Scott's demands and slackness on the farm. Most people would be pretty peed off if their colleague at work was getting paid more than them for doing less work. But of course most of us should have better manners or morals than to take revenge for these feelings. Maybe if
Ewen had gone home every night and vented to his wife he wouldn't have let things build up to the point of vandalism and arson. Most farming guys I know are the 'stiff upper lip, don't express your feelings, work hard and say nothing' ' kind of guys like Ewen. Not everyone and their actions are black and white- good vs bad. Most people have a string of mistakes and wrongdoings in their past along with their best intentions and good bits.
Ewen sounded like he was remorseful towards Kylee by buying her tree and getting house blessed and by being a more involved Dad etc, as if he was trying to atone for his past actions.
He appeared to be genuinely upset the day of and after Scott's death. Even some of the best actors in the world can't fake tears and grief.
He helped police with their enquiry all along the way and right into his confession of arson etc.
One would wonder why would he do that if he had such a huge secret to protect, like with past offending he would just keep his mouth shut.

Steve F said...

Hi Valerie,

Your post @ Valarie June 27th 9.55pm
"....You've also got to question why he will not get on the stand? Lawyers know from evidence produced what a "run off at the mouth" this guy is from the tapes... so they've advised him not to take the stand. nice one. I firmly believe that anyone tried for murder should take the stand and if he hadn't done it he would have nothing to hide in taking the stand actually in my opinion....."

You always have to remember that in a trial of this magnitude especially, and any trial for that matter, it is the evidence that is on trial, not the accused.

Regardless of how unpalatable an accused person may be he is in the dock with a presumption of innocence and remains so until proven guilty on the evidence. It is a court of law, not a court of morals.

The case is entirely based on circumstantial evidence and because of that the crown have tried to weave their rope with as many strands as possible. Putting him on the stand would be a delicate balancing act for the defence, as they would have carefully considered if he could add anything further to their case of dismantling the strands of evidence. Sometimes testimony from the accused can do more harm than good, such as when the defendant is an unsympathetic character which the jury are unlikely to look upon favoruably. On the other hand the defence counsel dosen’t want to hear the words
“ I’d got off it if I went in the stand”

I’m not a betting man normally but I would probably have to side with Frank’s comments above as agree that the jury will struggle to offload unconscious bias against the accused so I would have to put my money on a guilty verdict.
There obviously is a lot more detail in actual testimony of witnesses and the court reports are only a snapshot, but taking the snapshot perspective I am sure most would have to put this case squarely into the court of reasonable doubt.
Even thinking he probably is guilty isn’t enough to send him down, you must acquit and this is where it will so interesting to hear Justice France’s summing up and instructions to the Jury. He’s an ex academic from Vic law school so he could well have a different slant on this aspect.
Second place will be a hung Jury.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes, the not-taking-the-stand thing is no indication of guilt. When you look at cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses, a skilled professional is working hard to uncover errors in their testimony, different between their first statement and one given months later, any opportunity that presents itself to make them look evasive etc. That's unpleasant, embarrassing, even humiliating for the prosecution witnesses, but those are the only consequences involved for them - subjecting yourself to it when it's a criminal conviction and a fat prison term at stake would not be a good idea.

If the media reports are an accurate summary of the proceedings, this case hasn't got anywhere near beyond reasonable doubt. Which is a pity, because that means the accused is likely to walk free with people assuming 'not guilty' means 'found innocent.' On balance of probabilities, Macdonald is the likely culprit - that culprit being someone with a grudge against Scott Guy serious enough to prompt planning to murder him in cold blood, and who had a pair of dive boots and access to a 12-gauge shotgun.

So Macdonald remains the most likely candidate, but the evidence to convict him just isn't there.

Frank said...

As Greg King said; 'Most likely' & 'most probably' is not good enough.

I feel if the police had done a more effective job explaining in detail to the jury how the other 'evidence' that possibly a 3rd party was involved was eliminated from their enquiries with certainty, then it would make the case v Ewen seem stronger.

The dodgy man, the 'boy racer' car at time of murder, the 111 call, the car tyre tracks, the cigarette packet. Nowhere in any of the coverage have I seen adequate explanations of how these were eliminated with certainty! Man was never located, car or occupants were never found - how is this so? It's a small place & there was saturation coverage! Was there even an indentikit sketch done of the dodgy man looking for Guy? Was DNA done
on cigarette packet?

It's as though they narrowed in on MacDonald & built a case around him & neglected to adequately explain how these other events were completely disregarded. Even the time of 4.43 is a guess! They presumed that as soon as he stopped using the internet, he walked straight outside & got in his truck! Well, what if he went & brushed his teeth & went to the toilet etc before leaving meaning it was more like 4.50 something - which would start to reconcile with the witness times! Doesn't suit their case - so 4:43am it is.

The crown case has more holes than a block of swiss cheese.

In saying that, as stated previously, I expect the jury to convict as I have no faith in our judicial process. No such thing as a fair trial in NZ. Too much of a goldfish bowl.

Steve F said...

This somehow reminds me of a similarly high profile case many, many years ago.....Vicky Calder and the Poisoned Professor case......after a couple of million bucks of legal/associated taxpayer costs and two trails

".....Stunned and upset, Dr Calder deluged the professor with angry letters. A witness in the first trial said Dr Calder told her that a short time after Professor Lloyd moved out she cut up his clothes and shoes, because he hated shopping.

But Dr Calder has always denied anything about poisoning.

Author John Goulter in his book No Verdict - New Zealand's Hung Jury Crisis noted that Dr Calder's defence lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr, said that although her client was vengeful and had done some stupid things, this did not make her a poisoner....."

NZ Herald , June 3rd 2006

There is still hope for McDonald.........

Anonymous said...

"Even the time of 4.43 is a guess! They presumed that as soon as he stopped using the internet, he walked straight outside & got in his truck! Well, what if he went & brushed his teeth & went to the toilet etc before leaving meaning it was more like 4.50 something - which would start to reconcile with the witness times! Doesn't suit their case - so 4:43am it is."

Reading through some of the witnesses statements regarding the problems between Scott and Ewen, and the snipes from work mates about Scott being late regularly, I hardly think he would leave it to too late to leave the house to set off for work. On that morning Scott was meant to be the one to arrive first to open the milking sheds.

I'd say if there is a time on his PC of 4.43, he would have already done all he needed to do before sitting at the machine...he would not have left it until after getting off the PC. Most people get dressed and ready before they switch on to check email ,and most of the time, they don't bother even logging on if they do not have time.

Your speculating about something when you all know he had to be at work...and I doubt he would lounge around on a PC at all if he was up and knew he was running late. Not after all the stick from Ewen or the other guys about always sleeping in. We all over sleep occassionally and that's fair enough, but to get up and mess on PC if your running late. Or even leave brushing your teeth or continuing to get dressed AFTER logging onto PC. Let's be sensible - most people would not even bother if they knew others were waiting outside of a milking shed to start work.

If he logged off at 4.43am, it was highly likely he was heading straight out of his door to work. It doesnt take more than ten seconds to pull a pair of boots on at the door and grab a cap and shove it on your head. etc.

Anonymous said...

and the female witness that was already awake and heard the shots... she would confirm that time I believe. She would be the most reliable as she was awake already and only had to glance at the clock. I've done it myself since this mruder. Everytime my neighbours fire off shot guns in the local area now, I look at the clock and note the times. It is instinct when your living in the country.

The gate stuff... he said he saw lights under the gates... he saw that and then arrived at the sheds. Asplin (?) asked him "Where sleeping beauty was?" He said he's probably having a lie in? Yet he has driven past the gates and seen the lights??? So If he had NOT murdered him, why did he say, "He was having a lie in?" to the guys? Worse still, knowing he had seen his ute lights...after quite some time he texts and askes, "Are you UP?" Why even ask if Scot is up if he saw the ute lights through the gate? He would have to tell the guys, "Oh just spotted him...he's on his way, should b here any minute." But he avoided that and he put off ringing Scotts cell phone for quite some time. I wonder why...
The police reconstructed all that at the times it happend within a week or so of the murder according to much of the documentation.

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous June 28th 11.40pm
"....If he logged off at 4.43am, it was highly likely he was heading straight out of his door to work....."


Scott had been late at work in the past at random times...perhaps this was just another random time.....

One can say that it was highly likely he was heading straight out the door, or most probably he got off his PC and jumped straight in the truck, but highly likely and most probably are not good enough in a murder trial.....especially in the absence of any physical evidence linking the accused to the scene of the crime and so much conflicting testimony from witnesses....

The disagreement between assistant farm manager Simon Asplin and farm hand Mathew Ireland over one telling the other first thing in the morning, "he's been shot" is just one example.......

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous June 28th 11.48pm
"...The gate stuff... he said he saw lights under the gates... he saw that and then arrived at the sheds. Asplin (?) asked him "Where sleeping beauty was?" He said he's probably having a lie in? Yet he has driven past the gates and seen the lights??? So If he had NOT murdered him, why did he say, "He was having a lie in?" to the guys? Worse still, knowing he had seen his ute lights...after quite some time he texts and askes, "Are you UP?" Why even ask if Scot is up if he saw the ute lights through the gate? He would have to tell the guys, "Oh just spotted him...he's on his way, should b here any minute." But he avoided that and he put off ringing Scotts cell phone for quite some time. ..."


McDonald lived in the house in front of the milking sheds..He didn't drive up the road before work...Mathew Ireland was in the driveway waiting in his car when Mcdonald came out of his house.....
He didn't "put off for quite some time ringing Scott's phone....see Frank's post above..(excerpt below)

".....the only discussion re the gates in regards to Ewan MacDonald & police was that he said in his original statement that he noticed (once at the murder scene) one of the gates was closed and that Scott left them open all the time. At no time did he drive past Scott's farm & see them closed.

It's also on record that he text Scott @ 5.03am & asked 'R u up'? He then also called him @ 5.40am on the
morning of the murder. Scott did not answer & he wasn't particularly worried as they had enough workers to cover the morning milking work.

Frank said...

Hi Anon - you are also speculating 'I hardly think he would leave it to late to leave the house to set off to work'...'it was highly likely he was heading straight out of his door to work'...this is just pure speculation also. He lived 1.5km from the milking shed - if it took the police 5-6mins on a bike, then it would be a 2min drive. Hardly a commute.

It's not good enough in a murder trial to say 'it's highly likely' or 'I hardly think' - there needs to be indisputable factual evidence. Not presumption.

I think it's 'highly unlikely' someone would be committing cold blooded murder 1.5km down the road from their house/workplace at the
same time as employees are arriving there to work, but that's just my opinion & it means
nothing in a murder trial where the factual evidence is on trial. As it stands the 4.43am time is not a fact. It's a presumption by police & does not correspond to the times that most of the neighbours gave in witness which was around 5am.

Anonymous said...

Ref: Stuff.co.nz

In the summing up this morning the crowns lawyer told the jury that on the morning of the murder, Macdonald told the police that he saw the gates closed and thought that was unusual? He also told the police that he saw the lights under the gates?

How would he have seen this unless he had seen the body before the police arrived and he was at the scene after 7am?

He slipped up... he could only have seen "that particular scene if he was actually there at the time of the murder when it was dark."

So bearing that in mind, if he is telling the police that on the morning of the murder...if he were going to try and explain that away as innocently driving past for some reason and just seeing it from the road driving by in a car, why tell staff Scott was probably sleeping in? Nothing makes sense.

We do all know that he is a very good liar though and really does "slip up" a great deal when talking to the police. Trips himself up.

RE: not taking the stand and someoe commenting to say this does not imply guilt. That particular defence lawyer had defended quite a few murderers..e.g. Clayton Weatherfield etc.

Example David Bain = The privy council quoshed his convictions and ordered a retrial, but he never testified in either of his trials either. Your justice system gaoled him for 14 yrs without any evidence. Very much similar circumstances to this, but even more circumstantial to this scenario.

Anonymous said...

Also, your talking about "a burgary gone wrong." If anyone were intending to enter the property to burgal the Guy's or take puppies, they would not close the gates makig a getaway slow. They would leave them open. Also burglars tend to be opportunists and do not carry double barrel shot guns.

They will take things because they can. The puppies were in a shed at the back of the property...they may not have even needed to go in via the drive way but make their way around to the back sheds. No need to gun someone down in their driveway is there in this situation.

Again I will say that living in the country, we do occasionally lock our gates if we are away only and we padlock them as our driveway is long, and if anyone wants to burgle out home and break in, they have a damned long way to carry stuff to the road and over the gate unless they come prepped with something that can cut through a large chain and what have you. Burglars don't close the gates on a country home to bugrle it... not when there are folks inside most certainly.

Been living here 6-7 years and anyone who DID live in the country would know it is totally not what a burglar would do. Whoever closed those gates was doing so because they knew it would be the only way to get him to leave his car and step outside in the open giving the murderer a clear shot. There would be a lesser chance if Guy were in his car as Guy could simply put his foot down and floor it or back up...

Whoever did it didnt want to take the chance of him doing that...they kne they had to get him to leave the car and country folk KNOW that the only time they have to get out of their car when leaving their home is to open their gates if they have closed them.

There are a few reasons why farmers close their gates:

1. To keep trespassers out at night. We don't close our gates all the time.

2. To stop hawkers or JW's or whatever just driving up the driveway and knocking on the door.

3. When going away to lock them would be leaving their home more secure as it stops opporunists driving in, and committing a burglary without making noise or neighbours hearing.

4. Local or neighbour farmers driving cattle along the road to another paddock may close your gates so that cattle do not wander off down other farmers driveways. They do this on quads and one moves on ahead closing gates as he goes whilst someone on a quad at the back drives cattle.

Macdonald said it was unusual for the gates to be closed. But Macdonald knows all of the above. As do most farmers or rural people who have a property such as that with cattle gates at the end. If you have a cattle gird it removes the need for gates, but some fols still put gates there to close for security.

It does not take a detective to know why the gates to were closed by the murdere that morning though and that reason was obvious.

Frank said...

Not sure where the claims that he drove past the gates are coming from. I can't find this anywhere in trial coverage. Ewen has always maintained that he awoke @ 4.50am and had heard no motorbikes, so assumed Scott hadn't arrived & got up to open the sheds.

Ok, so in regards to the lady who was already awake - you say her testimony should be most reliable. Then you will also accept that she was the one who stated that she clearly heard 3 consecutive bangs all in a row: Bang..Bang..Bang. If her statement is most reliable, then there is no way the farm shotgun was responsible for the murder. It would've been a semi-automatic. Where is the murder weapon if that's the case?

All I can say is DOUBT DOUBT DOUBT. Way too much doubt.

Anonymous said...

In other words, the person there and who closed the gates, was there to trap him in his driveway to kill him. It was planned. Calculated ahead of time.

The deer...he shot them in the dark, he shot their heads clean off. He's real good at shootig the neck area and knows why he is doing it too. No chance of survival if the most part of your neck is took out. Your dead in minutes.

As for being able to take Guy out anytime re the farm... there are safety precautions on most farms. Killing sheds.

Anonymous said...

Also, he's hunted since he was a kid... presunably somewhere in there he was taught never to take a shot when there was a possibility that the target could be human.

There was a similar case of a hunter shooting a teacher dead sometime ago.... he could have written it off as accidental , but it seems the jury felt he was guilty of something.

Someone who is so expert with a gunj would be too responsible around them to have an "accident."

I think the police are not that dum... would have been picked up had he feigned accidental shooting during the course of work and tried to pull that stunt... besides why do that and even take a small amount of risk that you go down for some time, when you can remove all risk and just kill in the dark in the early hours without witnesses?


Frankly I don't even know why his lawyer tried to pull that one... he knows surely as well as the next person how good this guy is with a gun. He is able to take two stags down in the dark from a distance on someones land with their house right next to the paddock and they didnt even hear him. He knows he can do it. Practicing? Trying to gauge reaction when firing with a gun at night on someones land? If it wakes them up? What their reaction is? Do they get up or even hear it?

Frank said...

Just a thought. If I was in a car with a mate parked out the front of Scott's farm committing a burglary (remember the car tyre tracks heading onto grass verge & then driving away) & I had to cross a paddock to gain access to a shed housing a litter of puppies. I would most definitely close the gates to the drive. My thought process would be; if the gates are closed we will get a head start on him if he was to disturb us in his ute
etc. By closing the gates we will have a head start getting away if disturbed, as he would have to stop & get out & open the gates etc allowing us to speed off. Just an alternative thought.

Frank said...

Again - pure speculation & nothing factual that directly links Ewen to the murder scene. I think if you read back through the evidence, the owner of the stags were at a friends house for a BBQ that night & weren't back home till late that evening.

I'm pretty handy with a carving knife, doesn't mean I'm responsible for stabbing the guy down the road.

Wouldn't be too hard to hit a target with a shot gun from 4m away huh? It's not like he's sniping a moving target from 100m.

Psycho Milt said...

Sure, there's way too much doubt for a conviction in this case to be safe. But in terms of what's more likely, it seems likely to me that someone closed Scott Guy's gates to make sure he'd have to stop and get out of his ute, then waited to kill him. That cold-blooded killer had dive boots and a shotgun. The least-unlikely candidate remains Macdonald.

Frank said...

That is 'more than likely' (there's those words again) the scenario. However, not if the boots were a size 11 or 12 - serious doubt on the size. Not if Anna tossed them out like she thinks she might have. Not if the shots were much closer to 5am. If we believe, the 'more reliable' lady who was awake scenario - not if there were 3 consecutive BANGS. Well, that rules out the farm shotgun. Where's the semi automatic murder weapon
that let off 3 consecutive bangs? I'm sorry, but if a man gets convicted of murder in a situation like this - because he's the 'most likely' suspect backed with very little HARD EVIDENCE, I'd have grave concerns about the state of the justice system in NZ. This is one of the most poorly presented crown cases/police investigations I have witnessed. I believe I heard on TVNZ last night, that the reporter mentioned - 'some experts are saying the crown case is in tatters' - so it's obvious a common feeling among those closely studying the trial.

Steve F said...

Re; Closed gates

@ Anonymous June 29th 1.59am
"...Ref: Stuff.co.nz
In the summing up this morning the crowns lawyer told the jury that on the morning of the murder, Macdonald told the police that he saw the gates closed and thought that was unusual? He also told the police that he saw the lights under the gates?

How would he have seen this unless he had seen the body before the police arrived and he was at the scene after 7am?
He slipped up... he could only have seen "that particular scene if he was actually there at the time of the murder when it was dark."
So bearing that in mind, if he is telling the police that on the morning of the murder...if he were going to try and explain that away as innocently driving past for some reason and just seeing it from the road driving by in a car, why tell staff Scott was probably sleeping in? Nothing makes sense.




Quite the contrary...it all makes sense...It may be mis reporting, or a disingenuous attempt by the prosecution to lull a jury into thinking his comments were linked to the crime scene.......
If one trolls back through all the court reports the comments McDonald made at the crime scene were at the time he arrived. He got there around 7.30am one of the first to get there. Mr Berry, Mr Johnstone and one other neighbour were already there along with the first police officers to arrive.
The police officers obviously seeing it was the scene of a violent crime did what they are all trained to do....secure the scene......don't mess with it...the ute lights were still on the engine running and the gates closed or partially closed. that is what McDonald saw
along with the other witnesses who were first on scene.....It has absolutely nothing to do with driving past the Guy's driveway, because the milking sheds are across the drive of McDonalds own house at 146 Aorangi Road......so the crown trying to link this to a "slip up" is disingenuous at best....

Steve F said...

Re; Crime scene casts

Stuff ( Deborah Morris) 28th June
"....Unidenified tyres marks at the scene from a mystery sedan was something to think about, the jury has heard.

Defence lawyer Greg King said that in spite of a complete lack of evidence that a bicycle was at the murder scene, the Crown still discounted known tyres marks.

The marks were next to a footprint which was cast by the police and sent off for analysis.

"Why would a car be there?" King said.


Any suggestions from anyone why the police didn't cast the tyre marks at the same time they cast the footprints?.....

Open Mind said...

Anonymous said...

The deer...he shot them in the dark, he shot their heads clean off. He's real good at shootig the neck area and knows why he is doing it too. No chance of survival if the most part of your neck is took out. Your dead in minutes.

Can you shoot a 200+kg stag's clean off?
Maybe with a rocket launcher...
Seriously have you never watched CSI, crimescene or any number of war/ crime movies? Even a god-fearing pacifist would have the common sense to realise the most obvious place to shoot someone dead would be the neck or the head, or around that area.
You don't have to be an experienced hunter to work that one out.
Besides, why were there 2 or three shots anyway? If Ewen was such a great shot and pretty close to him, and the first shot blew a giant hole in Guy's neck, according to the prosecution- what was the purpose of the following one or two shots?
Shooting him again twice in the arm for what?
Seems more like the person wasn't a great shot and took one shot which missed, then Guy put his arms up to protect himself and then the third into his neck from closer range.

Who knows, but point being, you don't have to be an experienced marksman to shoot a man with shotgun from 4 metres away.







As for being able to take Guy out anytime re the farm... there are safety precautions on most farms. Killing sheds.

June 29, 2012 2:07 AM

Someone who is so expert with a gunj would be too responsible around them to have an "accident."

No one said anyhting about 'taking him out' on the farm.

Actually I believe the defence lawyer was talking about a 'legitimate looking' farm accident like falling off a tractor and getting trapped under the wheels.. not by accidental shooting. That's kinda silly. Farmers don't accidentally shoot each other on the farm.

Although, not the best line of defence on his part I don't think- certainly not a surefire way to kill someone by staging a tractor accident.

Anonymous said...

Interesting what people interpret about the evidence. Macdonald arrived at the scene just after the police. At that point the gates were open, so his comment about the headlights is relevant and signals inconsistencies in his story.

In terms of the gunshots, I do think the defence is overstating that one a bit. The timings are too close to say that MacDonald did or did not have a pocket of time to commit the murder. Im wondering whether the 3rd shot heard by neighbours was an echo from the second discharge, the first echo being covered up by the second shot.

Interesting how the forensic evidence that says there is only physical evidence of 2 shots is ignored by prosecution. Kingis very good a declaring evidence as "rubbish" or people are lying like the poor posties.

Look it is difficult. I tend to think that someone who spray paints a family members home with filth, burns one down and takes to the other with a split axe is unstable. If they look in the right place I do think they will find the puppies sadly, maybe along with the boots. Defintely this one is close to home....maybe he had a partner.
Cindy

Anonymous said...

THERE ARE A FEW FLAWS IN THE DEFENCES VIEW OF THE CASE

RE: Four Flaws In Crowns Case

"If you are the person who shot him, in the realms of Christiandom [why] would you be correcting people?" King asked today. (Stuff.co.nz).


Christiandom = Christendom? Meaning in the realms of christian people or places? Is the defence trying to refer to Ewen Macdonald's "known" criminal behaviour as being that of a christian or within the realms of chrisendom? Why paint him as such? He has broken several of the ten commandments before we even get to murder charge. Most christain thinking and doing people would never contemplate such axctions against their own family no matter what the reason.

The family that Ewen married into are strong christian people. This has been evident throughout the press coverage and since Scott's murder. His parents lost a son to a violent murder and want answers. The man arrested and charged with his murder is their grandchildren's father and daughters husband. I am more than sure the christian way is to assume that if he did not do the crime they do not wish him to be found guilty.

BUT FOR THE ARSON AND THE VANDALISM which was an unchristian act towards members of their family. Not something they or anyone else could comprehend a family member would stoop to as christians. Ewen committed many acts of violence and non christain behaviour towards them in trying to drive their son and his wife away from their home?

As the crown state, the main message was "go away." Why? Worst still from the date that he committed those crimes and made dispicable threats, he continued day in and day out tio work amongst them all as if he has never done them?

Let's assume he had not been exposed for the arson and the vandalism or the killing and theft of the deer. He would be right now revelling in the fact that he had got away with it. Guy is gone. So is Kylie. Stands to reason once Guy is got rid of in such a dispicable way that Kylie will not want to stay in the house where he was killed. Who can blame her at that point?

So he got his way and a bag to put it in...the "go away" message worked.

These crimes he would have been revelling in for years to come and would it change the type of person he is to have committed them? Not really.

What then if someone or something else happened on the farm to threaten his livelihood following that? More violence and intimidation towards others in secret on "missions???"

Anonymous said...

Nothing he did was demonstrating good christian spirit towards this family. Neither is he displaying it now by accusing some of them of lying re their statements on the morning at the scene of the crime.

No matter what the outcome of the trial the fact remains that he committed three proven violent offences towards some members of that family and had no conscience at the time he was doing so?

He committed at least two of those crimes with witnesses present (accomplices at the time). He made a HUGE assumption that they would never speak to anyone about those incidents or that nothing in his future would ever occur between himself and those witnesses that would change their need to keep the information "confidential."

However, if your as intelligent as his lawyer is professing he is in the above summing up (as he does when he says "Why would he tell people as it would implicate him?" as if he is not that stupid) and you really wanted to do something to hurt someone without it EVER impacting on your OWN family dynamic (because they found out about what you had done) you would simply NOT do the crimes OR you would use your damned brains and go along on your own to carry them out without wintesses present.

He did not go alone, he took risks, he was not thinking straight obviously (and I dont think he ever has!) which places him as sub intelligent. Just because he is an expert with hunting and farming, does not mean he is either intelligent or mature. Lawyers do six years of study and more, farmers like him go straight from school into farming. You dont need a degree to be a farmer or a hunter. You can be a good shot and a good farmer without all that - he is human and made stupid choices because those choices WERE stupid.
Anyone could do it with the stamina for that kind of career.

When he committed those crimes (later exposed for them) at the time he wasnt thinking about how his wife or children would feel
or how it would affect them because if he was

a.) a christian and deserving of being a member of that family

b.) loved them enough that he would never do anything to harm them either pyschologically or otherwise

c.) thinking about his future life on that farm as an honest human being and a farmer

because if he were he would simply not have committed those crimes at all. Full stop.

Anonymous said...

Secondly, the only reason you take others along to commit crimes such as the above is sense of trust combined with the need to gloat or feel clever. He wasnt thinking about risk free...he wanted to gloat and show people his capabilities. Going to do the dirty work alone would have been the actios of a far more intelligent criminal and he is not all that quite obviously.

But he fancied himself as the ultimate one with the night time "missions." He says in police
interviews that Callum would not have gone along to do the deer shooting by himself because "he wouldnt have the balls" to go out alone shooting? It only emphasises the fact that he enjoyed doing such dispicable things with and in front of people whom he felt he could trust. Problem is when you give two shits about your wife or tyour kids, you dont trust anyone when committing such crimes if you have even 1/4 of a brain.

He did all that with prescious little regard to how they may perceive that later OR talk about it with others.

He surely must have known that even if Scott had NOT been murdered, that if ANYONE found out about him destroying family property in later years, his arse would have been down the road in more ways than one. It wouldnt be the reaction of the family at large that he had to deal with but also that he would be reported to police for arson and willful damage and be wind up doing a stint inside?

So he's going on about "why would he risk losing his wife and kids," but the problem is he did it anyway with witnesses watching.

So why did this loser do anything as he did if he valued his wife, kids and extended family or the farm that much??

If you don't want to do the time you DONT do the crime. If your a christian man thinking "in the realms of chistendom" you do NOT even contemplate doing such crimes either.

Anonymous said...

"Witnesses had not told police about comments from Macdonald until after the police arrested him and it was natural

to try to reconstruct conversations, King said."

Is it not the case though that the police cannot get information about every little snippet of conversation people

have at a crime scene until long after. At the time the crowd gathered at the scene, conversations would have been

had.

1. Nikki Guy would not have even thought to discuss with the police re the little argument between Dave Berry and

Ewen Macdonald about how Scott had died because she did not know how long Ewen had been there at that point? But

Macdonald didnt just say Scott had been shot. He said he had been "shot twice." (Stuff.co.nz).

2. The defence is now saying that ANYONE would have known that Scott had been shot. But Macdonald would not know

from 6 metres away. Fact, one witness turned up at the scene and discovered him and said he looked as if his throat

had been cut? Is Macdonald saying that he knows what a cut throat looks like from 6-10 metres away now? He hasn't

took the stand but his lawyer is speaking FOR him here in saying that he only had to take one look from 6-10 metres

away to know that Scott was shot with a gun?

Anonymous said...

3. Dave Berry and he argue about the cause of death at the scene. Nikki Guy picks up on this. Then Macdonald later

rings Scott's father and says, "his face?" Is he saying that he saw the face from 6-10 metres away? Not even police

knew initially upon arrival at the scene how Scott had died and if they did they certainly would not have discussed

the way he was killed with anyone there because it was at the time a crime scene. None of those people gathering at

the scene knew...so why argue. Essentially his lawyer )speaking for him now) is saying all those gathering at the

scene are liars. You would remember a debate about how someone was killed being played out as Nikki Guy. You don't

forget that type of thing or "make it up or change the way things were said."

4. Macdonald is a a liar and it's on record. "He lies until he is confronted with a witness." (Stuff.co.nz). All

other witnesses have told the truth in all questioning with the exception of Bryan Guy who lied about the family

gun being secure and locked away. But this is completely understandable at the time because it is an offense to not

have firarms locked up and secure. At this point Bryan Guy is more than likely confident as a christian man that

his family would not have been involved in such a crime. But he has no idea of the crimes committed against his

family by Ewen Macdonald. If he had known the about such extreme crimes, he would no doubt have seen the sense in

being truthful with the police about the fact that the gun had not been secure that day. What father in law in his

right mind would suspect that his son in law had done any of those crimes anyway or even murdered his son? It would

have been incomprehensible to him at the time, so he lied about the gun to protect himself from getting into

trouble. He eventually came clean and had the honesty to do so. He did not have to do that? He could have remained

quiet about the whole matter and continued to hide that fact.

The lawyer now is speaking from his own perspective as a highly intelligent human being and his ability to reason

and logic, but it's HIS perspective that he is relaying when he says, " The idea that Macdonald was saying Guy had

been shot was "ridiculous".

Anonymous said...

The defence is speaking from their perspective as highly intelligent human beings. They have the intelligence to reason and apply logic, but it's THIER perspective that they are relaying when they say, " The idea that Macdonald was saying Guy had been shot was "ridiculous".

King asked why, if Macdonald had got away with everything else, would he then tell people that Guy' throat had not been cut but rather that he was shot."

This is typical response of a defence lawyer - of course a defence lawyer has no concept of being a farmer with far less itelligence(demonstratd by the random acts of arson and violence with witnesses in blaze, disregard). .

Ewen Macdonald is just a "good shot" and farmer thats had an award for milking cows. Big deal. Ewen obviously could never have had any comprehension of the depths a police investigation would go to, and he obviously felt secure in the fact that his past crimes would nor even come to light.

What planet was this guy on that he felt he would be leading by example to his kids by vandalising and urning down family property? Did he give a shit when he did it how it would impact on his wife later if she found out? Why risk it? Why do it and even take the risk? Because he was impulsive and didnt give a damn about his family enough - that's why.

His behaviour is not characterisitic of someone who would "care' about his wife and kids finding out about anything or even about Scott or Kylie and their kids having to "get along" with him either if they found out he had done it.

Anonymous said...

"The court was told that malicious letters were left in the Guys' letterbox. They were discovered by the posties,

but no action was taken. King said not a single witness other than the posties ever said they knew about the notes.
"The contradiction about the notes is mindblowing," he said."

Prior to the notes other vandalism would have phased Kylie Guy as it was aimed at her. We're told in reports that

she cried when she entered the house after it was vandalised. She wanted to move home. She didn't want to move in.

Somehow she was coaxed to go ahead...possibly Scott talked her around./ If notes were delivered at these times, and

he was aware that it would upset her, he may have just destroyed them than have her get really upset about the

potential for someone to do something damaging 'whilst they were living in their home."

Posties stated they did not want to interfere as it looked possibly like an extra martial affair. Fair enough.

"The two posties couldn't even be consistent between themselves, even disagreeing on the writing and what was used

to write the notes, King said."

Thats because the notes were written on THREE separate occasions. The first one may have been written in

haste...the subsequent one's planned. One (the first) wasa written in biro softly as if it was not done on a hard

surface (Brett Mcdonald - postie). Perhaps Ewen wrote the first note and posted in haste and then worried about

whether his handwriting with a biro would be more noticeable. Then after some months of no questioning, he wrote

the further two notes with a rougher hand before leaving to post them with a darker marker pen which forces you to

write differently due to the pen tip size. The last two notes may have been written in such a way that he felt if

he was going to write any other notes, that he would be a little more careful about that. The second postie

(Beannie?) states that the notes were written in thick black pen. That only suggests the the author changed his

mind and decided to be more careful in discuising hand writing style. (Second postie) (Stuff.co.nz).

Anonymous said...

Reference: See "Neil Lennon 'parcel bomb plot' trial begins" here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-17177944

"Disguised' handwriting

The trial later heard from the police officer who opened the suspect package.

Insp Brian Ferguson, who is trained in couter terrorism, said he believed the marker pen writing on the envelope

appeared "disguised".

"There were a couple of nails protruding and hand-writing that seemed like a right handed person using their left

hand to write," he said.

"It did not look neat or tidy. It had an aspect of disguising."

Insp Ferguson said he used scissors to open the package and concluded it was not a "viable device" after studying

the contents, which included nails embedded into a grey substance.

Prosecutor Tim Niven-Smith asked him: "But, it had the appearance of being a viable device?"

Insp Ferguson replied: "If an individual had received that, their understanding may be that it was a bomb."

Anonymous said...

"A confrontation between Guy and Macdonald at a family event was blown out of all proportion, the jury was told.
King said all Macdonald did at the event was tell Guy that he should not have left others to clean up on the farm."

And getting angry about someone merely being "late for work" or "leaving early to go to a family function" by humiliating them in front of employees, their family, setting their home on fire, vandalising their new home or
posting dispicable notes for them to read was NOT blowing things out of all proportion?"

Anonymous said...

He was not the manager of the entire farm. It was not his place to "over react' or "blow everything out of proportion," by arguing with other management on the farm in front of other employees or at a family function regarding "leaving early." It was never his place to address "turning up for late to work" either.

Not on the spot in front of other staff when Scott was a Manager on the fram aso. In fact that is something that management should have addressed in meetings not out on view and in front of staff.

He should never have been having "derogatory" conversations with staff behind another managers back to "get them onside." This would demonstrate lack of respect.

Farmers are pretty much their own boss much of the time and can choose exactly when they clock on and when they clock off. Scott had been raised in that type of environment.

They can work all through the night, or during the day. They do the choosing as to when they turn up. There were different tasks on the farm.

Ewen was in charge of milking. Scott was in charge of agricultural side of things. They worked equally as hard at different times of the year.

Not only does Ewen intimidate the couple and commit violent offences towards them in secret (committing crimes against them - arson - vandalism - violating their home and psychologically hurting them) but he systematically creates a "mobbing" situation at work whereby he talks to other staff about Scott in a derogatory fashion encouraging their bad attitudes and detrimental behaviour towards Scott at work.

Look up the term "mobbing" to get an idea of how that plays out as an employee in a work team. Scott is also harassed both at work by Ewen in front of other employees (unprofessional and degrading behaviour for a so called mamager) about being late for work on the random occasions.

Then he has the audacity to bring things up at a family function also. Not exactly being in control is it? Not exactly showing an ability to "not blow things out of all proportion?"
Furthermore this guy is now trying to explain away and give excuses for his inappropriate, volatile and unthinking behaviour by blaming the deceased when he has committed so many criminal offences towards him anyway before the murder itself.

The defence is speaking "for him" yet again and making excuses up for his stupid, irrational behaviours which to put it blunt are in no way acceptable or even hinting that he could control himself or not act impulsively!

It's obvious that if such behaviours had become apparent at the time to either Scott, Kylie or the rest of the family, that even if they did not press
charges as family in his wildest dreams, that his, violent behaviour FAR exceeds a few occasions of turning up to work late or leaving a little early to go to a family function. Lets get it in perspective for what it is.

This man is known for not only blowing little things way out of proportion and acting in a violent way to solve those problems, but I think we could safely say he would NOT have stopped those behaviours any time soon if there had been no murder.

Thats not hearsay... staff other witnesses testified on oath.

Furthemore, witesses are questioned by the police separately and do not know what questions the police may ask of them in advance. So it is impossible for so many witnesses to coroborate or design statements and answers around Ewen's behaviours or actions. But several statements that "sound similar" need to be taken seriously when they match with other pattern of behaviours he has demonstrated.

At the moment the defence is playing a card that suggests the jury will assume all the witnesses are lying. Problem is the jury know the accused is a liar and capable of such a crimes.

They don't know the extent of the "why" but they do have the necessary volume of evidence and material to find him guilty.

Anonymous said...

"Macdonald took clippings from his own yard for Kylee Guy, bought her a silk tree for her birthday, making steps to move on. He told the court they were small steps, from his perspective, because if he admitted the arson and vandalism he would lose everything, including his family. (Stuff.co.nz).

If you have vandalised someone's home and set fire to another one, I'd have thought the best way to lull people into a false sense of trust is to make yourself look like the least likely suspect in light of what has been done.

In other words crawl... do the complete opposite to what they expect you to do... be kin to them. Give them a gift. Go all out to make it look like you are feeling sorry for them. Even better still, tell your wife about it and let her know what your doing so that she will suspect nothing and hell...even screw your brains out that night and love you for being such a gentleman.

Steve F said...

Re; "The face...."

@ Anonymous June 29th 3.35pm
"...Dave Berry and he argue about the cause of death at the scene. Nikki Guy picks up on this. Then Macdonald later rings Scott's father and says, "his face?" Is he saying that he saw the face from 6-10 metres away? Not even police knew initially upon arrival at the scene how Scott had died and if they did they certainly would not have discussed ......"

Try a little experiment for yourself....Get someone to lie on the ground 6 or 7 meters away ( in the 7.30am light of July) from you face up. Have them cover the head area from neck up with an old cloth or something covered in tomato sauce....that is exactly
what he would have seen when he went to the crime scene....point plank with one or two barrels of a shot gun would obliterate ones face, from the neck up.....that is what he would have seen. I've tried the experiment...it is chilling.........Mr Johnstone and Simon Asplin all testified about him being shot...they arrived at the conclusions that being shot was a strong possibility both independently. Mr Johnstone then went on to tell Bryan Guy in the early morning....That is Bryan Guy's testimony......

Anonymous said...

He didn't tell his wife, she didn't know he'd done that until it came up in questioning so he wasnt showboating for her benefit. Pretty rude saying all farmers aren't very intelligent, I take it u are a townie as u have belittled everything that relates to farming life.

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous June 29th 1.59pm
"....Macdonald arrived at the scene just after the police. At that point the gates were open, so his comment about the headlights is relevant and signals inconsistencies in his story....."

Cindy,
It good to see more joining the debate....interesting how as the closing arguments are presented the activity ramps up on the blog.....a lot of it appears quite emotional however you have questioned evidential points and the gate issue is one of them.....
The chronology of events is important in order to have an understanding.
McDonald arrives at the crime scene around 7.30am. There are police officers in attendance, who have only just arrived after Mr Berry's phone call to the police. They must ensure the crime scene is secure and nothing contaminated or touched. The light's of Scott's ute are on, the engine is running, and one of the gates is open. It is a two piece gate remember.
McDonald is correct in his testimony. He arrives on his quad bike gets to about 7 metres or so from Scotts body, would be able to see the massive trauma created by a point blank shot gun blast ( I don't know if the Jury were shown photo's of this, probably not) and then based his statements to the police on this.
So you are standing there at the road entrance to Scotts drive, you see the lights on in the ute through the bars of part of the gate that is closed and think, that's strange, he never closes his gate.....it is that straightforward.....

Frank said...

Hi - as nice as you probably are, and I don't want to offend you in anyway, but you are exactly why I have no faith in the judicial system. This guy has no chance of a fair trial if these are peoples mindsets.

The trial is not a trial of Ewen MacDonalds character or personality or morals. It's a trial of HARD EVIDENCE that, BEYOND DOUBT, links him to that murder scene. That is all. No more, no less. The evidence is simply not there. If a man gets incarcerated on the back of this evidence, I would hate to ever be involved in a police investigation in NZ. It's a scary thought.

That's not to say he's a scumbag for doing the criminal damage - he most certainly is. But people must not let their emotional bias over-ride what is a substantially weak crown case.

Maybe, best case scenario here is a hung jury & a re-trial & the police can go away & do a SIGNIFICANTLY better job with it's evidence.

Anonymous said...

Steve - not sure if you can specifically quote that sequence of events from anywhere in the media. (Or maybe its your own reconstruction - not sure)

The 3 news video from 1 day ago clearly shows the gates open. The prosecution states that the gates were still open as MacDonald arrived virtually within a couple of minutes of police.

I also tend to agree with previous comments about integrity - lack of character (and not because he is from a farm :-)) and the array of circumstancial evidence that places him there and with motive. I also support comments about the defence (King) seemingly being the psuedo testifier on behalf of MacDonald. His main defence seems to be that everyone is a liar except for his Client who was caught red handed on tape doing just that.

I have said to many friends interested in the case - consideration of guilty/not guilty needs to be weighted on the merits of the evidence in its entirety not individually given no witness (maybe!!) and critical physical items of evidence missing. If he walks, I fear it sets precedence that you will get off murder in this country as long as you dispose of anything tangible because likelihood/probability doesnt count - which is what the defence is saying.

I am also appalled that once again (like Sophie Elliot and the Bain case) that innocent people get the finger pointed at them when they are victims themselves. Another tactic Mr King has used in the past. (in his summing up he said Scott was the agressor)

Cindy

Anonymous said...

Frank - I posted at the same time as you - take on board your comments. If I am ever on a jury, I would certainly consider the evidence- its easy to comment when you are not sitting in that chair. At the end of the day, we are not there (well I'm not) so there are things I havent heard that may sway me one way or the other.

Cindy

Frank said...

Echoing Steve's comments - great that people are getting involved in the debate on here, but as I said above, most of these comments are HIGHLY EMOTIONAL & HEARSAY - attacking Ewen's personality/character/morals. These traits aren't on trial. In a way, even Ewen isn't on trial - remembering he is presumed innocent. It's the evidence that is on trial. Each strand of the crowns 'hard' evidence is highly
doubtful.

A man cannot be convicted of murder because he is a bastard of a person. This is what scares me about 'fair trials' in NZ. The pre-conceived bias of the public is extreme here & people are losing sight of what a murder trial is. It's amazing that so many people seem to now
be experts on Ewen's personality, what kind of father he is, what kind of husband he is etc. Anna MacDonald (who seems a kind soul) said her life was perfect the day before her brothers murder, so I would say he is not the Devil personified as everyone is making out. He was also more popular with the workers on the farm than
Scott. One described him as the best boss he has ever had. So let's make sure there is some balance here.

Sure, he was an absolute scumbag for doing the criminal damage, but that does not automatically convert you to cold blooded murderer. It's up to the evidence to prove
that & the evidence is just NOT THERE.

Based on the polarising opinions on this blog, is there any way they can decide beyond doubt that this guy pulled the trigger when no one on here can even agree a consensus. This investigation needs to be re-opened
and the glaring deficiencies in the police work need to be rectified. I'm absolutely dumbfounded that there were car tracks on the grass (no evidence of a bike) and casts weren't made of the tyres in an attempt to identify what type of car it was? Was it the same type of car that Matt Ireland saw driving down the road at the time of the murder? This negligence astounds me? Was the cigarette packet DNA tested? Should the valid points raised by the defence around Simon Asplins behavior be analysed further? Afterall, he had size 12 feet & a semi-automatic shotgun & was last to arrive at work that morning & openly stated he did not like Scott Guy - see how easy it is to start building a sinister case around
someone. I could go on, but the list of reasons why this investigation needs to be re-opened is a mile long.

I can't actually believe it got as far as prosecution to be honest. It's one of weakest crown cases in regards to HARD evidence I have ever witnessed.

Frank said...

I've just read somewhere on the net that the lead Detective Inspector (Sue Schwalger) on this case was also involved in the investigation (v.similar circumstances) in the Jack Nicholas murder inquiry in Hawkes Bay? Does anyone know if this is correct? I was out of the country at the time.

I find it very interesting that a 'not guilty' verdict was given & in the media fallout, some comments were made in regards to the police investigation, describing it as
'shoddy' & 'selective' & making the 'fatal flaw' of picking a suspect & building a case around them, rather than investigating all avenues fully and remaining open minded until all the hard evidence was clear (stuff 28/5/08).

Anonymous said...

I think Frank has hit the nail on the head, I absolutely agree and I could not put it any better than him.

Steve F said...

Frank,

Re; your comments earlier this evening.....
"...I can't actually believe it got as far as prosecution to be honest. It's one of weakest crown cases in regards to HARD evidence I have ever witnessed....."


Our justice system, and there has to be one of some sort, serves society reasonably well a lot of the time, but not all the time. Cases like this reveal the shortcomings. In particular, the handling of prosecutions by the police.
Serious crimes ie., indictable offences ( ie., those cases tried on an indictment after a preliminary hearing ) are prosecuted by Crown solicitors, ie., private practitioners contracted to the state who maintain independence in their role as prosecutors for the state.
The problem is, their involvement in the continuum of events from when the accused is arrested until he/she eventually ends up on trial is far too late. Currently it is after the pre trial deposition hearings up to which point it is all controlled by those who investigated the crime ie., the police.

The law commission summed it up very well in their report on the prosecution service during a review process some years ago…..
“….Late involvement by Crown Solicitors limits the effectiveness of their role as independent public prosecutors by restricting the scope of their powers of oversight and discretion to charge. The existing system is inefficient because the individual with the ultimate power to decide whether a prosecution is to proceed and what form it should take cannot make those decisions until very late in the process. It is also clearly desirable that the independent review of the investigation charging decision should be carried out as early as possible…..”

The police are opposed to this because, in my opinion they fear that cases will get shelved after spending untold dollars on an investigation which could well be sub standard. But it’s going to change since the new act “The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (sections 184-193) is going to come into force in 2013, next year.

Sadly I fear it may be too late for defendants in exclusively circumstantial cases such as we are witnessing unfold as I speak….
Snapshots of Ben Vanderkolk, the crown solicitor prosecuting, paint a picture of a less than happy advocate…but then they are only snapshots….

Anonymous said...

Arthur Allen Thomas, David Bain, Rex Haig, David Doherty, Scott Watson, Aaron Farmer, Peter Ellis, David Tamehere, Mark Lundy.....let's not add another one to this list!!!!

Frank said...

Steve - something I find quite amazing in this case is how the police have plucked 4.43am out of the air as the magical murder time, yet almost all the CROWN witnesses have declared the time as 5am, or closer to 5am! How does the Crown get in a position whereby they call witnesses that basically go someway to dispelling their own theory around the timing of events? This seems crazy to me? Or is it a situation, where if the Crown doesn't call them, the defence will, & thereby make the Crown look as though they were deliberately hiding witness statements that didn't suit their case/theory?

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous 6.24pm
"....Steve - not sure if you can specifically quote that sequence of events from anywhere in the media. (Or maybe its your own reconstruction - not sure)

The 3 news video from 1 day ago clearly shows the gates open. The prosecution states that the gates were still open as MacDonald arrived virtually within a couple of minutes of police.

Cindy -
You have to troll through the court reports to get the sequence.They all have different transcripts depending upon what the journalists on the media benches write at the time. So for each day if you save 6 or 7 reports from all the different authors you get a much clearer picture, not as razor sharp as sitting there all day but probably the next best thing.

So;
1) the lights of the ute were left on and the engine running when the police arrive.
2) McDonald arrives about 5 minutes after he gets a call from Mr Jonstone who heard from Mr Berry, the man who found Scott.
3) He gets there about the same time as the police. It appears the police didn't keep times of when they spoke to each person at the scene according to their testimonies. Perhaps they don't wear watches any more.
4) The gate(s) is/are closed.(see below). So standing there at the scene you see headlights shining through the rails of the gate.

The TV3 video would have been shot much much later when they arrived at the scene. The crime scene investigators by then would have been crawling all over it.

Dompost news, Deborah Morris 15/6/2012

He drew a map for police to show how close he got.
In the interview Macdonald said he thought it was unusual the gates to the driveway were shut as he knew Mr Guy never shut the gates.


APNZ Hannah Garrett-Walker 15/6/2012

He also told police, in his statement, that he remembered the gate was closed, which was unusual.

Steve F said...

Frank,

I was going to post a reply last night but I was seriously tired at 12.30am and was struggling to keep the eyes open after replying to Cindy......anyhow about the timing of the shots.....


The disclosure rules have been tightened up significantly in recent years. All statements by anyone interviewed by the police whether signed or unsigned, whether they are called as witnesses or not must be disclosed to the defence.

Regarding the timing of the shots, the crown basically has to call the witnesses or leave it to the defence as you point out. In the case of the early morning witnesses we have heard give testimony, the prosecution were in a bit of a corner. They only thing going for them was no one definitively saying
“I looked at my clock and it said 5.00am or 4.55am “
Except for Mr Sharp so that was a problem. But Mr Sharp then has an unreliable clock, or so we are told. Just how the suggestion of an unreliable clock came about and the absurd excuse of overhead power lines affecting his clock is anyone’s guess.
What the defence will never see are transcripts of off the record discussions between the investigators and the witnesses. So Mr Sharp may have mentioned something about his clock being a bit fast sometimes and for the prosecution that is a trapdoor out of the otherwise locked room of “shots at 5am”. It probably all stems from there.

Frank said...

Thanks for the reply Steve. Wasn't sure of the procedure & just found the whole situation crazy. The timing is probably THE most crucial aspect of the case & for the CROWN witnesses to basically exonerate the defendant, just seems absurd. For them to try & suggest a clock was 'conveniently' 15mins fast due to over head powerlines (I lived by an electrical grid once & my digital alarm click was NEVER impacted) - reeks of 'creative' manipulation when all other witnesses agree it was closer to the time on Mr Sharpes clock. If I was deciding whether a case should proceed to prosecution - this alone is enough for me to say - 'I don't think so'!

Also, I've read (re-read & re-read) most of the various reports from the different journo's each day & agree with your version of events for when Ewen reached the scene & that is correct. I believe one gate was still closed & the lights were still on in the ute & the engine was running. At just after 7am in the middle of winter - I'm sure the dawn light would still be dullish (ESP if overcast) - so of course he is going to see headlights through the grill of the gates. I don't understand how this makes him the murderer? I'm sure when the neighbour first arrived on the scene as well - he saw headlights through the grill of the gates. They are really clutching at straws here if they think this makes someone guilty of murder?

Frank said...

Just had a look at the 'sunrise' times in Fielding at the moment. Approx around 7.10am. I believe Ewen received the call around 7.17am. So the sun was just starting to show itself. I have no idea what the weather was like that morning, but if overcast (or even not) then at that time of the morning of course you are still going to see headlights through the gate. How this is even a part of the prosecution case is beyond me & just shows how a lack of hard evidence has left them 'clutching'.

Steve F said...

Re; Witness tesimony v's first statements......

When I was trawling through reports for the gate closed evidence I came across this..it's a beaut.......


Manawatu Standard 6/6/2012
When Mr Berry gave evidence Mr King asked him when Macdonald arrived.
"I'm a little bit vague, I think police were there first,'' Mr Berry said.
Mr King asked him to refresh his memory by looking at a statement he made to police.
"I can't be sure but I think Ewen Macdonald was there first,'' he said after reading the statement.

Sounds a bit like Mr Sharp and his unreliable clock.

Anonymous said...

So far you guys have based all your comment/judgement on reports written by the press in media. Having studied journalism at Massey I can say that journalists condense everything down.

For example, we know that there are over 40 hours of piolice tape that the jury were shown, but there is only fragmented video online of the police interview and that is only 10 minutes or so long. So you've missed a large chunk of evience there. Same thing for the daily news reports online from different media outlets.

Each media outlet source has condensed the days hearings and had to cull information right back, so your speculation has been based on snippets of evidence heard, circumtantial or not.

From press reports we are told that there was an undercurrent of hate going on between these guys and the police have picked up on it when interviewing several family members and employees on the farm. For instance, reading between the lines, Ewen won an award for dairying that year and in fact the presentation for that award was in the evening on the 7th July, the night before Scott was murdered.

Why did Ewen not go to collect his award. Why did he give off impression that he would be going and then change his mind? He cannot explain away that he had no intention going and wasnt bothered by the award itself as he had spent some time making a presentation to accompany a presumably an acceptance speech at that awards?

This presentation was one of the items on the list for the police to collect when they went to Ewen's home after his arrest and charge for murder. They siezed the presentation of the PC.

The press have not discussed this one item of evidence or thought much or written much around it and it has not been aired on TV news either. They may not have seen the significance of it, but the presentation and the contents
of it are possibly evidence that Ewen was excited about attending and being at the awards to collect his trophy or whatever.

All we know is there was some type of exchange between himself and Scott when Scott rang him (possibly to arrange for them to attend together and travel to the ceremony in the same car). That would make sense as why would
two employees living so close turn up in two separate cars anyway to such a ceremony?

to be continued

Anonymous said...

It says in news reports online that Scott purchased new clothing to attend the awards along with Ewen. There was

also a phone call the day before to Ewen from Scott to make final arrangements re attendance at the awards. But during that phone call Ewen told Scott he would not be attending? He wasn't sick...had he been sick he would not have been attending work the following morning? Seems like it was a normal evening in fact because nowhere in reports as part of his alibi does it state that he was sick in Anna Macdonalds evidence re going to bed that night and setting the alarm.

Kylie states that Scott had gone to the trouble of purchasing new clothes and shoes for the award ceremony - I'd have thought this pissed him off... I feel personally if there wern't words at work on the 7th, there certainly would have been some exchange between them that morning on the 8th if Scott had not been murdered in his driveway.

The defence tried to play down the friction between the two of them (because of Ewen's behaviours) but they don't address this in summing up the case (or we have not seen that as part of the summing up from press reports). nevertheless it is there along with other motive's discussed this far.

I would say Ewan was angry that Scott was actually so pleased for him that he was keen to attend with him. Perhaps the reaction Ewen wanted Scott to be something else... envious perhaps? Jealous? When he was something else, this wound him up? They were very competitive by the sounds of other reports and quite obviously not on the same page.

Could have been very angry words exhcnaged in the telephone conversation between them. Kylie says Scott was angry because of Ewen ot going...anyone would be if they had gone to the trouble of buying new clothing to go along and support someone and give them applause when collecting it.

It would have been extremely frustrating to work alongside of someone who is so sullen with such an attitude that he cannot even let things go even after a relaxed trip down South to improve staff relations between them.

Thats time spent away from your wife and kid with someone who is quite obviously begrudging and never going to feel happy about his role on the farm your working on - no matter what you do.

Anonymous said...

I read ALL reports before I comment here, but it would seem you guy's do not. You should have been researching and reading everything (and watching media on TV) before formulating an opinion. Example there is the mention of the defense using the example of being able to kill Scot whilst putting down a cow.

Someone then posts in this thread and states that possibly the lawyer did mean euthanaising a cow but an accident on a tractor. In response to that, the example of Scott being killed when Ewen was euthanaising a cow WAS discussed in court by the lawyer except this was on TV report NOT online report.

You guys are discussing this issue and not conducting thorough research befoe you comment. Journalists cull a lot of information before they write a report, otherwise they would lose readership. They have to keep things short and sweet. If you guys were that interested in analysing this, attendance at courts would have been a part of it.

Unless you are there, you have no cluce. Even I can see that much with flawed thinking. Your too busy talking about circumstantial evidence. and you base your narrow minded thinking on solid evidence only. If everyone did this in carrying out justice this planet would be a complete mess! Other facts come in such as alibi, motive, behaviours, statements, which may seem all circumstantial but which DO matter in this situation when you have a person who is so dispicable they plan to leave a legacy on this family by making the murder weapon one that cannot be traced.

Smacks to me that the murderer in this case would be feeling SO confident in the fact he had used a non traceable weapon, that even in his won trial he would plead not guilty and pick pick pick and question "solid evidence against him" all the way through despite all the other stack of evidence piling up against him... and this guy has.

Analysing his behaviour, he would rather sit there scribbling on a note pad and watch his family one by one be subject to questioning in the box all the while jotting down notes about what they have said such as, "Where is the proof?" "This was wrong, I did not say that? On whose word did he not say this or that??? "Asplin could have done

it because he wears size 12 shoes, and owns a semi automatic which matches the pattern of three shots etc." he would have sat there scribbling many notes like this to address with his lawyer later. It isnt just the lawyer coming up with these ideas.

Asplin was at the milking sheds and waiting to be let in when Ewen arrived - he was there long before Ewen.

Asplin had committed no offences towards the diseased. He also had nowhere immediate to hide a semi automatic that morning...he was there with his car, and probably too far away from his "empty house" to be able to take a gun back home and commit the crime in time to make it to the milkingn sheds before Ewen.

Anyone who had shot someone with a gun would want to dispose of it somewhere fast knowing the police would be pouring all over the
place the day of the murder.

As to the defences explanaition that there were three shots...so it could not have been the farm gun. The defense needs to use it's imagination.

No one knows where a third shot went....had it been shot in the air it could have travelled anywhere far away from the scene. Too far to include within the inquiry. We've been told that the extent of damage to Scott could have been down with one or two shots.

That the first shot was fatal? So why three? My guess is that a third shot was fired to make it look like it could not be the farm gun. He could have been fired in the air and away from the body with a different type of gun (eg he owned a rifle and could have used that).

Anonymous said...

To finish...firing three shots off in that fashion could have been two from a double barrel shot gun and then one from a rifle "just in case' there were witnesses who could hear the gun firing off. That may be hearsay but let's face it... it was NOT impossible to achieve and part of the defenses argument is that he could not have done it with the farm gun.

I beg to differ, there is a way he could have done it with a double barrel shot gun and made it sound like something else or attempt to.

Frank said...

Wow - another highly emotional post(s). Making presumptions & allegations based on liitle fact. Firstly, thanks for sharing your 'expert' journalistic skills; "having studied journalism at Massey, I can say that journalists condense everything down". What an idiot I am, here I was reading the media reports each day believing I was reading a word by word transcript of every thing that was said. Silly me - maybe my 6yrs & double degree at uni rendered me an idiot to believe otherwise. Actually, according to you I didn't even read ALL the reports as you did (more emotional allegations & presumptions), despite the FACT that I've actually read & re-read almost every word written in regards to this case. But thanks for PRESUMING & ALLEGING that I hadn't.

I would go through the rest of your 'points' & discuss/debate them if they were factual evidence, but due to your post being full of emotionally charged hearsay, such as;

'I would say that Ewen was actually angry that Scott was pleased for him'....'Perhaps he wanted a different reaction, jealous? envious?'

'there could have been very angry words exchanged between them'

'I feel if there wasn't words between them on the 7th, there must've been an exchange on the morning of the 8th'

'It must've been so frustrating working with someone so
sullen with such an attitude'

"It smacks to me the murderer would've been feeling SO confident"

You also claim to know what Ewen was jotting down on
a pad - another amazing pointless observation.

Not only do you make up presumptions and allegations
in regards to Ewen, you also make them up in regards to
myself;

"I read ALL reports before commenting, but it seems you
guys do not"

"you guys are discussing this and not conducting
thorough research before you comment"

"you should be reading everything before formulating an
opinion"

"unless you are there you have no clue"

The irony & hypocrisy in your post is extreme. You 'state the obvious' (no uni degree reqd) that press reports don't cover all aspects of the case, then in the next sentence you quote 'the media reports state'...'As stated on the online media'. I thought you said that 'unless you are there you have no clue'.

I also love the fact that you've lectured us on how you read ALL the media reports, then most of your post is hearsay; full of terms; 'I feel', 'I think','I would've thought','smacks to me'. You even tell the defence to use their 'imagination'....wow, this is a murder trial, not a Harry Potter novel.

You make these personal presumptions about who said what etc and how people would've been feeling, but then don't mention that all the witnesses said they were awoken at 5am. Fact. But alas, I shouldn't diverge into facts. Much more fun using your imagination and making up what would've been said between angry exchanges that I 'presume' 'must've' taken place.

All, I can say is, I'm glad you are throwing these presumptions & allegations about online and you are not sitting on the jury.

Anonymous said...

If you had only one piece of circumstantial evidence in this case, carrying that evidence to a specific conclusion would be prone to significant error.

However, there are numerous pieces very strong circumstantial evidence which all pointing in the same direction in the case which carries them collectively, to a specific conclusion which is far more reliable. Crown supplied over 60 witnesses with such evidence to form what was a probable case.

Contrary to that the defence only pulled two witnesses and they were experts who did not know the accused personally. An electrician and an expert in guns. All the expert in guns proves was that three shots could have not been fired in succession... did they address whether that was slow succession or rapid in the press?

Only person questioning the way the gun shots fired off is Ewen Macdonald and defence in this trial quite obviously because he is a hunter and already knew how many times he could fire with the farm gun before he needed to reload.

He also knew Asplin had a semi automatic and being a hunter whose father runs a gun shop he knows what a semi automatic is capable of. Neither he or defence have had any problem implicating Asplin in this case. Fact: Ewens lawyer woud not have know facts about what Asplin owned until seeing a video in police questioning perhaps where Ewen raise that fact, OR when Ewen raised it with his lawyer. In other words he has thought things through re the "type" of gun used and what witnesses heard.

Not to difficult to then assume he could have thought this through "before" the murder just as easily as afterwards. fact remains, he is the only one that has real reason to do such and he also stood to gain a lot.

There are ony really two reasons a person commits murder. Resentment + money as in a burglary or Resentment + sex (as in extra marital affair). We can rule out the latter safely, but you cannot rule out the former. The police can rule out burglary though because of the nature in which the crime was committed. E.g. closing of the farm gates to cage him in and planned ambush at the front from the gates at the side.

A burglar would not be interested in being at the entrance to the driveway on a rural property. Look at where the wool sheds were. No burglar would even need to be where the gates are just to take puppies that morning. Farm sheds could have been accessed further down the road unnopticed. LOOK at the layout...google pictures of the house and LOOK where the sheds are on that property from aerial views.

Anonymous said...

Shots were heard @ 5am by all witnesses...while Ewen was walking out his front door. Fact.

Anonymous said...

Hey you're quite right re us only receiving condensed snippets of info from daily reports only giving highlights and not the same depth of evidence as the jury will be hearing, I don't think that means we can't all have our own opinion given the facts we have heard.

Presumably you have been to the trial each day to make sure you got 'all the facts correct' before you have given your opinion above? If so, I'm sure you know more than the rest of NZ put together and we should take your word as gospel.

I apologise as I made the comment about farmers not killing each other with guns as I don't watch tv I must have missed Greg King saying that. As I said its a pretty silly suggestion on his part about tractor as well.

I don't think it's fair to say we are narrow minded though, of course All circumstantial evidence points to Ewan based on his previous actions, I think people would like to see a case stronger than just " well now we know you did the arson etc it must have been you that did the mudering" so let's see if we can work out how you may have done it even if none of the physical evidence is 90-100% pointing us to you. If their strongest points of evidence are all highly questionable (gunshots, clocks, timing, boot size, you do wonder if prosectionon is just trying to make other things fit as well.

Simon Asplin could indeed have hidden his gun, many places to hide things on a farm, even tucked under chassis of his car- who knows. He also said " one good thing was he was now back on the tractor" and Scott pissed a lot of people off, so you can't say suggesting him is totally far fetched.

What is somewhat interesting is it seems like, other than Nikki ( who we know had beef with Ewen) none of the Guy family has really said anything that bad about him. They could have gone to town, but from what I've heard (which again, is limited footage of testimony etc) is that they are speaking in a measured way, answering truthfully but not embellishing or loading their statements. Most of that "outrageous hate for Scott" sounds kind it's coming from the mouth of the Vanderbolk. (but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that)

One more thing, about Ewen taking notes, bloody hell if I was on trial for a murder I did or didn't commit I'd be doing everything I could to help defend myself too. Is he meant to just sit there like a zombie and let his fate rest on some overheard comments and suggested but not proven methods?

Steve F said...

Re; Number of gunshots…

@Anonymous 1/7/2012 1.05pm
“….Anonymous said...
To finish...firing three shots off in that fashion could have been two from a double barrel shot gun and then one from a rifle "just in case' there were witnesses who could hear the gun firing off. That may be hearsay but let's face it... it was NOT impossible to achieve and part of the defenses argument is that he could not have done it with the farm gun.
I beg to differ, there is a way he could have done it with a double barrel shot gun and made it sound like something else or attempt to…..”

and
@Anonymous 1.04pm
"...That the first shot was fatal? So why three? My guess is that a third shot was fired to make it look like it could not be the farm gun. He could have been fired in the air and away from the body with a different type of gun (eg he owned a rifle and could have used that).




One could really make anything up regarding the shooting and number of shots. Anything is possible, but it comes down to the probability. If it’s three shots everyone agrees on, then the probability is a semi automatic weapon, (shotgun). But they eject cartridges so you have to hang around to find them in the dark or have some means attached to the weapon to collect them. Again consider probability.

Your scenario would have to go something like this;
1) Discharge both barrels of an over under shotgun
2) Place the shotgun quickly on the ground.
3) Retrieve the cartridges from the over under shot gun before they fall out onto the ground in the dark. (they’re partly discharged from this type of weapon remember.)
3a) Put the cartridges in your pocket or somewhere where you won't forgery to leave them behind
4) Pick up the rifle, release the safety ( if it was on) and discharge the rifle
5) Sling both weapons over your shoulder and push bike back to 146 Aorangi road
6) Hide the weapons, at least the rifle and put the shotgun back where it belonged, broken down and in the same position is was in before it was taken.
It comes down to probability.

Steve F said...

Re; Numbers of witnesses for crown & defence

@ Anonymous July 1st 3.44pm
Crown supplied over 60 witnesses with such evidence to form what was a probable case. Contrary to that the defence only pulled two witnesses and they were experts who did not know the accused personally.


A few years ago the prosecution was not obliged to turn over all of the statements and transcripts of every witness they interviewed to the defence. Only those that they were going to call as witnesses.
The new prosecution guidelines oblige the prosecution to disclose all of the statements and transcripts, of everyone they interview, whether signed or not,whether they are called as witnesses or not.

So, under the old system many of the prosecutions witnesses most likely would have not been called because their evidence didn’t shore up their case. Now they more or less have to because if they don’t, then the defence call them and that could give a negative inference to the jury. So they appear for the crown and all the prosecution can do is hope that they don’t crumble under cross examination, which on another point is a very specialized technique and it’s effect on a jury is reliant on the skill of the defence counsel.

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous. July 1st. 12.55pm

"..So far you guys have based all your comment/judgement on reports written by the press in media. Having studied journalism at Massey I can say that journalists condense everything down.."

Hello ex Massey Journalism student
It is good to see different points of view and your posts keep the debate alive.

Now, firstly let me tell you that I am under no illusions about the limitations of the court reports. In all of my earlier comments I am very mindful that there could well be other points of evidence not reported, but it is quite reasonable to assume that all of the main strands of evidence are being reported in some shape or form.
You need to take the discussion on this blog for what it is. A discussion, a debate, an exchange of views, call it what you like. In all of my posts I have attempted to put forward a proposition centered around the various strands of evidence as they have come up throughout the course of the trial. If they have an air of bias towards the defence then that is the conclusion I have inferred from the limitation of evidence we have access to. I post it in a manner that I hope invites alternative theories from other readers and, if necessary re visit the point.

Now for a little story to help you with the doctrine of beyond reasonable doubt.
A while ago, probably well before you were at Massey Journalism School there was a case in NZ worthy of a Hollywood script. It mirrored in many respects what is being played out in the High Court of Wellington in the past weeks. It captured the attention of the nation and ran on for two trials. It was popularly known as the "poison professor" case. Interestingly enough it was Greg King's first big criminal trial fresh out of law school and sitting in second chair as a junior lawyer.
It was a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence and like the present trial had a single piece of physical evidence (viz.,dive boots) that the crown relied on as the plank to carry them over the otherwise melting pond of circumstantial evidence. But they had a problem. Despite all of the other evidence pointing overwhelming to the accused attempting murder, the key evidential strand, the presence of the poisonous substance in a hair follicle of the victim was contested under cross examination and was left in doubt.
On the one hand the crown had a suspect with every reason to seek revenge, who had damaged the victims property, cut up his clothes, smeared dog excrement over his house, spoke to colleagues about poisoning, was quoted under oath as saying " bad things happen to men that upset me", had access to the rare poisonous substance the crown alleged the victim was poisoned with, yet the jury could not be certain that the forensic tests on the traces of poison were reliable for a safe conviction. So, one hung jury and a not guilty verdict later, the accused stepped out of the dock a free person.
So the take home message is,...... the evidence is on trial not the accused. It is not a question of most probably he did it, highly likely it was him, you have to be absolutely certain beyond all reasonable doubt otherwise you acquit.

Here's what Justice Tipping said in summing up the first trial;
"He said if the jury agreed Lloyd had been poisoned, it somehow had to place the poison in Calder’s hands and be convinced she was of a mind to kill him"
Result, hung jury.

Here's what he said summing up the second trial;
"....The jury listened to a lot of other evidence over the seven weeks and at its conclusion were advised by Justice Tipping to exercise extreme caution ‘as they picked their way through a maze of conflicting facts and dissenting opinions’.
Result, Not Guilty.

I finish here with a note for you to sleep on tonight if you happen to read this before going to bed;
"On the one hand it is said that circumstances cannot lie. On the other hand it is said that truth is stranger than fiction."

Frank said...

Anonymous 12.55pm...

"So far you guys have based all your comment/judgement on reports written by the press in media. Having studied journalism at Massey I can say that journalists condense everything down."

...Thanks for stating the obvious!

"Each media outlet source has condensed the days hearings and had to cull information right back, so your speculation has been based on snippets of evidence heard, circumtantial or not."

...I've actually made a concerted effort on here to not speculate at all & stick to analyzing the factual evidence. Emotional speculation & hearsay adds no value in a murder trial.

"From press reports we are told that there was an undercurrent of hate going on between these guys"..
"It says in news reports online that Scott purchased new clothing to attend the awards along with Ewen"

...seems you're happy to use the limited press reports to make your points!

"Why did Ewen not go to collect his award. Why did he give off impression that he would be going and then change his mind?"

...maybe he was knackered & the thought of being out till very late & having to be up at 4.45am - does not sound like fun.

"They may not have seen the significance of it, but the presentation and the contents of it are possibly evidence that Ewen was excited about attending and being at the awards to collect his trophy or whatever."

...there's nothing significant about it all. He wanted to win an award for best farmer - of course he would do a good job of his presentation & deep down was prob disappointed he came 2nd, so collecting his award prob wasn't that important.

"But during that phone call Ewen told Scott he would not be attending? He wasn't sick...had he been sick he would not have been attending work the following
morning?"

Continued...

Frank said...

...You ever farmed? No such thing as not going to work on a dairy farm. The cows don't milk themselves.

"I'd have thought this pissed him off... I feel personally if there wern't words at work on the 7th, there certainly would have been some exchange between them that morning on the 8th"

...Hearsay - stick to facts.

"I would say Ewan was angry that Scott was actually so pleased for him that he was keen to attend with him. Perhaps the reaction Ewen wanted Scott to be something else... envious perhaps? Jealous? When he was something else, this wound him up?"

...More hearsay!

"Could have been very angry words exhcnaged in the telephone conversation"

...hearsay

"It would have been extremely frustrating to work alongside of someone who is so sullen with such an attitude"

...more speculation. Funny that all the farm workers are on record as saying that they enjoyed working with Ewen. I believe one mentioned 'he's the best boss I've ever worked for'. They also mentioned how they didn't like working for Scott, while one of them openly stated that they did not like him fullstop.

"I read ALL reports before I comment here, but it would seem you guy's do not. You should have been researching and reading everything (and watching media on TV) before formulating an opinion"

...not only are you speculating on what was said between Scott & Ewen & their emotions or well being (tired or sick), but you are now making allegations about people on here. I have wasted about 2hrs a day since day one reading & watching every word said or written.

"You guys are discussing this issue and not conducting thorough research before you comment"..."If you guys were that interested in analysing this, attendance at courts would have been a part of it"..."Unless you are there you have no clue".

...as I pointed out above, you seemed happy to use the online media reports as the basis for your points. This is being hypocritical. In one breath you say you must read ALL the media reports before commenting, then you are stating 'unless you are there, you have no clue' - which one is it?

"Analysing his behaviour, he would rather sit there scribbling on a note pad...such as, "Where is the proof?" "This was wrong, I did not say that? On whose word did he not say this or that???"

...now you allege to know what he is writing on his pad. If I had not committed a murder, I would be furiously writing notes in an attempt to help in my defence.

"As to the defences explanaition that there were three shots...so it could not have been the farm gun. The defense needs to use it's imagination."

...thankfully 'imagination' does not come into consideration in a murder inquiry!

"My guess is that a third shot was fired to make it look like it could not be the farm gun. He could have been fired in the air and away from the body with a different type of gun (eg he owned a rifle and could have used that)."

...more hearsay. Now he's biking back down the road with 2 guns & 3 puppies! 

"Not to difficult to then assume he could have thought this through "before" the murder just as easily as afterwards"

...As the saying goes 'one should never assume' - ESP not in a murder trial/inquiry.

I do find it amusing that people pass comment on Ewen's ability to think this through so carefully like a criminal mastermind, but he then goes around correcting people at the murder scene as to how he was killed & cancels an awards dinner the night of the murder as he knew the murder would take place. If you knew you were planning to kill someone, you don't go around canceling engagements with them. That is actually idiotic & is more the behaviour of an innocent man than a cold calculated killer

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting when people make wild assumptions about imaginary angry exchanges & how peoples emotions would have been & make up scenario's with 2 guns being used, but then ignore the fact & fail to mention that all the neighbours said they were awoken & heard gunshots @ 5am, just as Ewen was walking out his door, half asleep, rubbing his bleary eyes & greeting his co-worker. There's your reasonable doubt your honour.

Frank said...

Continued...

...You ever farmed? No such thing as not going to work on a dairy farm. The cows don't milk themselves.

"I'd have thought this pissed him off... I feel personally if there wern't words at work on the 7th, there certainly would have been some exchange between them that morning on the 8th"

...Hearsay - stick to facts.

"I would say Ewan was angry that Scott was actually so pleased for him that he was keen to attend with him. Perhaps the reaction Ewen wanted Scott to be something else... envious perhaps? Jealous? When he was something else, this wound him up?"

...More hearsay!

"Could have been very angry words exhcnaged in the telephone conversation"

...hearsay

"It would have been extremely frustrating to work alongside of someone who is so sullen with such an attitude"

...more speculation. Funny that all the farm workers are on record as saying that they enjoyed working with Ewen. I believe one mentioned 'he's the best boss I've ever worked for'. They also mentioned how they didn't like working for Scott, while one of them openly stated that they did not like him fullstop.

"I read ALL reports before I comment here, but it would seem you guy's do not. You should have been researching and reading everything (and watching media on TV) before formulating an opinion"

...not only are you speculating on what was said between Scott & Ewen & their emotions or well being (tired or sick), but you are now making allegations about people on here. I have wasted about 2hrs a day since day one reading & watching every word said or written.

"You guys are discussing this issue and not conducting thorough research before you comment"..."If you guys were that interested in analysing this, attendance at courts would have been a part of it"..."Unless you are there you have no clue".

...as I pointed out above, you seemed happy to use the online media reports as the basis for your points. This is being hypocritical. In one breath you say you must read ALL the media reports before commenting, then you are stating 'unless you are there, you have no clue' - which one is it?

"Analysing his behaviour, he would rather sit there scribbling on a note pad...such as, "Where is the proof?" "This was wrong, I did not say that? On whose word did he not say this or that???"

...now you allege to know what he is writing on his pad. If I had not committed a murder, I would be furiously writing notes in an attempt to help in my defence.

"As to the defences explanaition that there were three shots...so it could not have been the farm gun. The defense needs to use it's imagination."

...thankfully 'imagination' does not come into consideration in a murder inquiry!

"My guess is that a third shot was fired to make it look like it could not be the farm gun. He could have been fired in the air and away from the body with a different type of gun (eg he owned a rifle and could have used that)."

...more hearsay. Now he's biking back down the road with 2 guns & 3 puppies! 

"Not to difficult to then assume he could have thought this through "before" the murder just as easily as afterwards"

...As the saying goes 'one should never assume' - ESP not in a murder trial/inquiry.

I do find it amusing that people pass comment on Ewen's ability to think this through so carefully like a criminal mastermind, but he then goes around correcting people at the murder scene as to how he was killed & cancels an awards dinner the night of the murder as he knew the murder would take place. If you knew you were planning to kill someone, you don't go around canceling engagements with them. That is actually idiotic & is more the behaviour of an innocent man than a cold calculated killer

Steve F said...

@ Anonymous. July 1st. 12.55pm

".......So far you guys have based all your comment/judgement on reports written by the press in media. Having studied journalism at Massey I can say that journalists condense everything down....."

Hello ex Massey Journalism student
It is good to see different points of view and your posts keep the debate alive.

Now, firstly let me tell you that I am under no illusions about the limitations of the court reports. In all of my earlier comments I am very mindful that there could well be other points of evidence not reported, but it is quite reasonable to assume that all of the main strands of evidence are being reported in some shape or form.
You need to take the discussion on this blog for what it is. A discussion, a debate, an exchange of views, call it what you like. In all of my posts I have attempted to put forward a proposition centered around the various strands of evidence as they have come up throughout the course of the trial. If they have an air of bias towards the defence then that is the conclusion I have inferred from the limitation of evidence we have access to. I post it in a manner that I hope invites alternative theories from other readers and, if necessary re visit the point.

Now for a little story to help you with the doctrine of beyond reasonable doubt.
A while ago, probably well before you were at Massey Journalism School there was a case in NZ worthy of a Hollywood script. It mirrored in many respects what is being played out in the High Court of Wellington in the past weeks. It captured the attention of the nation and ran on for two trials. It was popularly known as the "poison professor" case. Interestingly enough it was Greg King's first big criminal trial fresh out of law school and sitting in second chair as a junior lawyer.
It was a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence and like the present trial had a single piece of physical evidence (viz.,dive boots) that the crown relied on as the plank to carry them over the otherwise melting pond of circumstantial evidence. But they had a problem. Despite all of the other evidence pointing overwhelming to the accused attempting murder, the key evidential strand, the presence of the poisonous substance in a hair follicle of the victim was contested under cross examination and was left in doubt.
On the one hand the crown had a suspect with every reason to seek revenge, who had damaged the victims property, cut up his clothes, smeared dog excrement over his house, spoke to colleagues about poisoning, was quoted under oath as saying " bad things happen to men that upset me", had access to the rare poisonous substance the crown alleged the victim was poisoned with, yet the jury could not be certain that the forensic tests on the traces of poison were reliable for a safe conviction. So, one hung jury and a not guilty verdict later, the accused stepped out of the dock a free person.
So the take home message is,...... the evidence is on trial not the accused. It is not a question of most probably he did it, highly likely it was him, you have to be absolutely certain beyond all reasonable doubt otherwise you acquit.

Here's what Justice Tipping said in summing up the first trial;
"....He said if the jury agreed Lloyd had been poisoned, it somehow had to place the poison in Calder’s hands and be convinced she was of a mind to kill him.
Result, hung jury.

Here's what he said summing up the second trial;
"....The jury were advised by Justice Tipping to exercise extreme caution ‘as they picked their way through a maze of conflicting facts and dissenting opinions’.
Result, Not Guilty.

I finish here with a note for you to sleep on tonight if you happen to read this before going to bed. Pass it on to your Massey Journalism school chums........
"On the one hand it is said that circumstances cannot lie. On the other hand it is said that truth is stranger than fiction."

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else find Vandervolk's instruction to the jury unnerving: " don't be afraid to find him guilty.. The justice system won't come crashing down if you do" . Really is that a convincing reason to convict someone? No the whole system won't fall apart, but justice needs to be served and it's a serious matter, if you feel scared of finding someone guilty because you doubt they are then that's precisely a reason not to.

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest, I'd rather a guilty man walk free based on poor detective work, lack of real evidence & reasonable doubt, than another innocent man be incarcerated.

That is how the justice system should work.

Frank said...

So it would seem Justice France has done what every murder trial judge should do in his summing up & inform the jury to remove any emotion & focus on the evidence. As a we've been saying all along 'most probable' is not good enough to convict a man of murder;

"Justice France told the jury to put aside any feelings of sympathy and to ignore everything but the evidence."

"Justice France said the jury had to be satisfied the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt."

"That meant the jury must be sure that Macdonald killed Mr Guy, rather than thinking it was likely or probable that he did."

"He said the Crown must have proved that to the required standard and this standard was that they must be sure."

"Justice France told them that when each strand of the case was proven in their eyes, the Crown case got stronger, but if the strand failed, the case got weaker."

Based on this, the jury has no option but; Not Guily - Reasonable Doubt.

Steve F said...

Frank,

I haven't had a chance to read a summary of Justice France's summing up but it appears as if he is applying the rule in Hodge's Case developed from a 19th Century English case which sets out the threshold of conviction based on circumstantial evidence...
" where all the evidence is circumstantial the accused can be found guilty only if the evidence is both consistent with guilt and inconsistent with any other rational conclusion.."

That could be:
That Scott Guy was gunned down by a killer who drove a vehicle down Aorangi road, who wore large boots and used a semi automatic shotgun at about 5am in the morning.

However that said, the balancing act between unconscious bias and rational thought in today's society rests on an extremely fine edge and the verdict is too close to call for that reason.

Anonymous said...

What a big week for the justice system in NZ. I have to say that although Scott seems most likely, there is no way the crown has proved it beyond reasonable doubt. With very little hard evidence, or any evidence really, I would be very concerned to see a man convicted of murder on the back of this. There remains so many questions about the police investigation, it really does seem like they focused building a (weak) case around Ewen, while ignoring some interesting lines of inquiry.

Anonymous said...

My comment above should read *Ewen* seems most likely!

Frank said...

Hi Steve,

Yes, as I've mentioned previously, I'm well aware the verdict could definitely be guilty. Not because of the evidence, but as you say the unconscious bias of the jurors heading into the trial.

It would seem Justice France has gone some way in trying to eliminate this & has stripped a lot of the 'noise' out of the trial & encouraged them to focus on the murder & the evidence & nothing else i.e his character etc - which is what some of us have been preaching on here all along;

NZ HERALD:
The jury had heard some unappealing things about Macdonald but could not leap from the conclusion that he had committed murder just because he had trashed a house being built on Scott and Kylee Guy's property.

"This isn't a trial about character,'' he said.

Justice France said Macdonald had lied about his past actions, but the jury could not conclude he lied about murder.

"You should not assume a lie is a sign of guilt.''

Macdonald was presumed to be innocent and he did not have to take the stand in the trial.

The jury could not give "any significance at all'' to his choice not to.

Justice France said Macdonald did not have to say anything before the trial but chose to when he was just a family member helping with the investigation.


What's also interesting is that he instructed the jury that some evidence had no relevance at all to the murder & gave the specific example of the shooting of the stags - 'all this proves is that he is a skilled hunter'.

He also made specific reference to Asplin which I found interesting;

STUFF:
'Justice France said accusing someone else was a way of pointing the jury to reasonable doubt and they had seen Simon Asplin for themselves.'

I believe his point here is that, if you believe there is the possibility of another person/scenario - then this adds credence to the reasonable doubt conclusion.

Steve F said...

Nick,
You seem to have started something with this thread a couple of weeks ago…..anyhow now that you’re back in the fold I have some comments to add to your bullet points:

1) Guy was killed some time between 4:45am and 5am. Macdonald was awake and about at that time.

Indeed he was awake at about that time. Witness Mathew Ireland saw him turn on a light at 146 Aorangi road and come out of the house across the driveway from the milking shed. In the minutes leading up to 5am. Ireland was waiting in his car in the driveway. He couldn’t be precise about the minute that happened.
Tying into this the witness testimony as to when shots were fired all correlates around 5am except for Mr Sharp, who said it was 5am on his clock, but then added that he had an unreliable clock that ran fast. The reasons for his clock being unreliable were not proven.

2) Guy was killed by gunshots from a 12-gauge shotgun. Macdonald had easy access to such a gun.

A 12 gauge shotgun of some description. The type, semi automatic or manual loading was not proven.
Justice France summed up the gun aspect like this
“…Justice France also told them that there was no way to link the Guy family farm shotgun with the murder as there was no way to identify it…”
“…Justice France said the real issue was whether Macdonald knew or might have known where the shotgun was stored in the farm office, which Mr Guy's father Bryan Guy had not told Macdonald…”

3) The killer wore very unusual and distinctive dive boots. Macdonald had a pair, even if not found by the police.

The boots were unusual. Justice France summed this up as:
“…The judge said the expert had outlined the process he had used. While the expert agreed with the defence that a size nine could not have made three of the casts, he would not agree and go further to say if it was a Proline boot or that it must be a size-12 print. The judge said jurors could accept what they liked…”

there were also car tyre imprints at the crime scene but these were not cast and no evidence appears as to why not and their significance

4) The killer knew Guy's movements on the farm in the early morning; and knew the farm layout enough to know the gate had to be shut closed to make sure Guy got out of his truck.

I am unsure of the weight of this argument. It would seem pretty obvious, at least I see it that way, that if you want someone to stop their vehicle coming out of the drive then a perpetrator would ensure the gate was closed if it wasn’t already. The property layout is pretty simple, a drive off the road and about 100 metres further on is the house with a parking area in front of it.

5) Macdonald made comments about Guy being shot, when it seemed no one had confirmed the cause of death.

The jury would need to decide if he said those comments with certainty in mind or if it was a rumour circulating that was also proposed and mentioned by three others who gave testimony; Bryan guy, Simon Asplin and neighbour Mr Johnstone. Also the jury would need to consider context in light of shots being heard by neighbours and word of this circulating, I would imagine in this small community, like wild fire.

Continued below...........

Steve F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve F said...

Continued from above....

It is a maze of sometimes conflicting testimony and questionable facts that the jury are going to have to pick their way through. They are going to have to somehow place the gun in McDonalds hand and place McDonalds feet on the ground in a very narrow window of time if it is to be a guilty verdict.

Frank said...

Steve,

Did you see a mention of the puppies?

I've lived in London for the best part of the 00's. Based on your following of NZ criminal / murder trials - how long do juries normally deliberate on average? 2 days? Longer?

Man I would love to be a fly on that wall!

Wondering if the 7-5 male split might help his cause a little?

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the assumption that the murderer knew Scott Guy well and knew his movements. He's a farmer, farmers get up early. Unless you live under a rock, every Kiwi knows this.

Steve F said...

frank

The only mention of the puppies was discussed earlier in the blog. norhing conclusive.

i would say we should get a verdict late Tuesday. Two days has been the average for trials of this magnitude.

I happened to be around Molesworth St late today. Just aa I was passing there was a flurry of activity so I hopped into the queue for courtroom one.
the Jury returned for the overnight briefing from Justice France.
They looked to be quite a mature group, many were middle aged I would say over 45. from outward appearances I would say there are many years of life experience amongst them

here is another fly that wishes to join you on the wall !

Frank said...

Thanks Steve,

Yeah, was just wondering whether the judge mentioned anything re the puppies? I saw nothing from the media coverage.

I was wondering what the jury ages were? Thanks! I've previously read case studies on the benefits of men v women jurors, basically along the lines of - women are more emotional than men and therefore are more risky for the defence in highly emotionally-charged trials. Whether this is actually true or not, I don't know. Emotions were certainly running high via some of the posts on here. I know I've certainly had some interesting conversations with my wife, mum & sister!

You must've thought you'd struck it lucky walking past when you did - thinking the verdict was possibly about to be read?

Frank said...

Faith restored in justice system.

Well done jury. It was the correct decision in the circumstances.

I think a review of the police investigation is required in this case.

Anonymous said...

Don't ever allow our government to abolish jury trials. Justice has been done. It was absolutely the right decision. Kylee's outburst, though sad, was a tactic to let the public know what she thinks. I am sure she wishes that were true so she could have some closure.

Frank said...

http://www.imperatorfish.com/2012/07/ewen-macdonald-trial-hopeless-crown.html?m=1

A lawyers thoughts on the crown case. I'm glad I wasn't one of the few that thought the prosecution was weak.

If after a year of investigation - that was all the evidence they could acquire to support their case, I think that goes some way to confirming he didn't do it.

Wonder if Simon Asplin's sleeping well tonight?

Steve F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psycho Milt said...

... the outburst of Kylee Guy took everyone totally by surprise.
You could feel the vengeance, the retribution. The hatred was dripping off the walls. It was quite undignified...


I really have no idea what level of dignity we're to expect from a woman who's just seen the man who most likely killed her husband get declared not guilty. I'd be less than chuffed about it if I were her, regardless of how inappropriate a guilty verdict would have been.

Frank said...

Wow - that must've been an experience! I feel sorry for kylee, as of course she wanted closure & this doesn't bring it. But yes, I feel more sorry for the Guys - who have conducted themselves unbelievably throughout this nightmare! To be in their position with a murdered son & a daughter who also feels as though she has lost her husband, must be absolutely heart breaking. What a fine man Mr Guy seems to be. They would just as equally want closure & justice.

I believe you are right. This change of procedure seems to have done wonders for the transparency of the trial & can only be fair for defendants in the future. Hopefully, we will see less & less of these controversial convictions that seemed to plague the NZ justice system over the past 20yrs.

My last thought goes to the jury. Well done to them. It would be EXTREMELY difficult to be a juror on a case of this magnitude in NZ. They are human beings like everyone else, who watched the investigation unfold, the arrest, the disbelief, the comments from friends 'he looks guilty etc' & they were able to block it out & focus on the facts & evidence at hand. Good on them for making the decision outright. The pressure must've been intense. But ultimately, they got it right.

I will definitely keep in touch on here. Thanks for all your help along the way in analysing & evaluating the daily evidence. It was a most interesting process.

Cheers

Steve F said...

@ Physco Milt 10.02pm
"...I really have no idea what level of dignity we're to expect from a woman who's just seen the man who most likely killed her husband get declared not guilty.."

Indeed, I admit I have been insensitive to the woman's feelings. I was still astounded by the reaction I had witnessed just a few hours earlier. Thus I have deleted the post and re worded it here..........


Hi Frank,


A disturbing and tragic case has closed it's cover. For now. The background commentary is building and I don't think it will see any respite for many weeks to come.

It has been however a test for the robustness of our justice system, which we can agree has survived intact and gives good cause for the public to have confidence. Undoubtably the new procedural rules around disclosure have proved their worth bringing a more inquisitorial dimension to our adversarial jury trial process. 
( God knows how this would have played out under the old rules).



I was in the courtroom this afternoon when the verdict was read. It was an uncanny atmosphere, I'm glad I have experienced it but I would not like to do it again, unless I am served jury duty.

Seated just behind the family the outburst of Kylee Guy took everyone totally by surprise. 
You could feel the vengeance, the retribution. The hatred was dripping off the walls. It was in stark contrast to the solemn respectfulness exhibited by the Guy family. Who by the way had lost a son. 
In hindsight what most concerned me was the total absence of screening of anyone going into the public seating at the rear of the courtroom. I turned to look at the two guards stationed at the courtroom door when the women started her fierce and wild shouting followed by jostling to get out of the courtroom. They were just as dumbstruck as the rest of us. 
I had thought what if, a victim in the public gallery, and given the level of loathing for the accused I witnessed today, they had a knife or even a pistol...at the end of the seating row they take a step to the left instead of the right..all that stands between them and the accused in the dock is an unlocked glass door.Or the six foot glass panel over which a bottle of petrol could be hurled.......
sobering thought.....
I think at least for the verdict hearing everyone going into the courtroom must be screened and searched.

Besides Simon Asplin missing out on a few winks, I believe DI Schwalger will be sipping a brandy before bed tonight.....


Keep in touch

Logan said...

I'd make one observation re the dive boots.. divers wear them barefoot, so the sizes are based on that, I'd guess a hunter would buy a larger size to wear over socks for better warmth and comfort.

It might explain some of the confusion re the sizes.

Anonymous said...

"I feel more sorry for the Guys - who have conducted themselves unbelievably throughout this nightmare!"

If someone murdered your partner, you would be far more affected than if someone had murdered a member of your immediate family. As much as his immediate family have lost a borther and a son, they wern't living with him day in and day out or as close to him as a woman is to her husband.

Point is, I've seen prescious little sympathy for Kylee Guy , and she is the one who was the nearest and dearest to him. Dividing your respect as you are is simply unfair... and why? Because they're better at bottling their feelings up?

For what? To grow a tumour?

Why does nobody say what they truly feel anymore instead of trying to keep junk feelings inside? This is why our cancer rates are at an all time high let's face it.

My heart goes out to Kylee Guy who has had to go through the same hell in slow motion the past four weeks.

Good that "not guilty" hasn't removed doubt for the majority...I wonder why. This man will most likely have a stigma attached for a long time to come.

I'm not seeing a lot of rspect for him on my stream from feilding people... nice Tui ad going around which says, "Not Guilty : Yeh Right!"

That poem he wrote back in high school will probably become a reality soon, it's just he probably has no clue right about now. Or things a court finding him not guilty will fix it all. It doesn't unfortunately.

He has poached, committed arson and vandalised property and god knows what else and as Hocken says, "How do we know he didn't have anything to do with other crimes or burglaries for arms in thesame area?" It will always be running through peoples minds and they will never quite be able to trust him even if he didn't kill Scott. It would have been great to see a solid alibi and more concrete evidence that it could not possibly be him.

I think Kylee Guy said far less than I would have done in her place and I would not give two tosses for public opinion after saying it either. She is the one that has to live life without Scott day in and day out... she does not have to be stoic to please everyone!

Anonymous said...

"If someone murdered your partner, you would be far more affected than if someone had murdered a member of your immediate family"

What a ridiculous statement to quantify.

You are clearly not a parent! Clearly!!! Burying a child is the worst nightmare of ANY parent. Let a lone one murdered!

Remember, the Guys didn't only have their son murdered in cold blood, but their daughters husband & father of their 4 grandkids charged with it. So a double hit on their two children.

To try and quantify their pain would be somehow less than Kylee's is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. You should be ashamed of such a comment.

Anonymous said...

Here we go... twist it why don't you. I gues your wife or partner means nothing. Excuse me but my partner means more to me and my life would have a larger hole in it if I lost him versus a brother. Don't give us all your twisted view of it!

Anonymous said...

NOT EXACTLY A NICE STATEMENT TO MAKE IS IT!:

"I feel more sorry for the Guys - who have conducted themselves unbelievably throughout this nightmare!"

Read your own shit!

Anonymous said...

I think you're the one twisting things love.

Come back and chat when you have grown up and are a mother with children. Until then you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Based on your logic - whereby partners in life are more important than children, why does over one-third of marriages in NZ end in divorce and why is there such a high rate of divorce in parents after the death of a child. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

I just had dinner at a Petone restaurant where Greg King was "king of the table" next to ours. He was with a group of other Wellington lawyerss and spent the evening gloating how clever he was to get someone guilty off. He also had disparaging remarks about the ineptitude of the police. Such comments should not have been made in public.

Wyatt said...

The jury in their findings should be able to have a choice of three possible findings, guilty, not guilty or not proven. Prosecutors commit people to trial with circumstantial evidence which the defenders lawyer can easily place into doubt. How many experts witnesses did the defence lawyer call up? My point exactly. Why was the fact that Ewen Macdonald's brother's occupation was hidden from us? Ewen to my way of thinking did a lot of "trying to throw the police off his trail". What does it say of Ewen's character, the burning, vandalism, poaching,foul letter writing campaign, stealing of puppies??
Would he have been able to marry into the Guy family with these dysfuntional traits, which are not acquired over-night. Ewen is a proven liar to the police untill they come up with evidence that his story is false.

Anonymous said...

Anon - did you really hear him say that he 'got someone guilty off'? That would be extraordinary if true? I can't believe he would say those words in a public place?

If he didn't say those words, then you might want to be careful with what you allege? As he is a very handy lawyer and you wouldn't want him hunting you down and slapping a defamation charge on you!

Anonymous said...

Do you mean he said the words, more or less "I got someone guilty off" or are you saying he was gloating about getting Ewen off, but that you think he's guilty?

Anonymous said...

Knowing what the other offences are right now that Macdonald committed before the other arsons and property damage, the big question everyone is going to be asking is WHY where these crimes not made known to the court and the jury at the time. Why where they suppressed? They'd have been relevant to the case. They show a slice of his behavious and are similar in nature. They prove this guy is a jerk with a gun.

How the hell do we know if all the arsons committed a while ago by Richard David Elliott, where actually fires he set? When community find out about the other offences they are not going to be too happy. Despite press gossip gets around and we are hearing it here through the grapevine.

It doesnt look good where trying to overcome the "Bain Factor" is concerned. Did David Bain commit such many crimes before his family where murdered? Not really... the case was clearer cut. Macdonald makes Bain look like Arc Angel Gabriel ffs.

The advice from the expert on stuff.co.nz about re-ntegrating himself back in the community is going to be about as useful as a bloody chocolate teapot when feilding residents find out about the other convictions and I say let them know about it because they deserve to know the truth.

Some of us already know in the community, as they were crimes known of before the other arsons and damage done with Callum Boe came to light. The good thing is he has very distinctive looks so you could pick his "batman" hairline from a bloody mile away and run.

As for getting used to people coming up to him and having a quiet word about "should he be out and about' ...we already know how he reacts when people push minor buttons on his facade... and suffice to say he could probably never tyurn the other cheek.

Anonymous said...

"In order to legally own and operate a firearm in New Zealand you must have a current firearms licence. You can apply for a licence at your local Police Station." howtolaw.co.nz

Is this man ever going to be issued with a gun license after the crimes and convictions and he has done his time?

Will Kerry Macdonald lend him another gun from the store again?

Old Macdonald "had" a farm eeh I eeh I oh, and lost it... now can't put cows down... nice one.

Anonymous said...

RE: Jury got the right verdict:

Must be really reassuring for his parents that he assured them he didn't kill Scott. Bit like that time he swore to his Dad he said to his Dad he didn't go onto Hockens land and poach those deer.

They'd believe anything as his parents. You've got to ask the question why his father asked him in the first place,"If he had had anything to do with it?"

Possibly been known to his father to be involved in poaching in the past and asked him because he had wondered about it? Not the type of question you ask a responsible son is it? Yet he still loaned him guns for hunting on that premise from the store.

Been Benuane said...

My my hasn't this Sue Schwalger made a balls-up of this case?

And will she be held accountable for it?