Travis Kirchner has been jailed for the murder of a woman at Murray Bridge. Picture: SA Police
Travis Kirchner has been jailed for the murder of a woman at Murray Bridge. Picture: SA Police

‘Explosive, violent’: Wheelie bin killer jailed

A South Australian man who bashed a woman to death at her home and stuffed her body into a wheelie bin before fleeing to Victoria has been jailed for at least 18 years.

Travis Kirchner used a concrete owl or pedestal to bash 54-year-old Sally Rothe to death at her Murray Bridge property, east of Adelaide, in February last year.

In the Supreme Court today, Justice David Peek said the 44-year-old had responded to a minor incident in an "explosive and violent manner" as he jailed Kirchner for life and set a non-parole period of 18 years.

Justice Peek said the killing was not premeditated but the blows to Ms Rothe's head were delivered with a degree of force.

"The post-mortem evidence indicates that there were repeated blows to the deceased's head with considerable or severe force," he said.

"All of the evidence indicates that blows occurred at several difference locations in the yard and that the attack continued over an appreciable period of time."

 

Sally Rothe was murdered at her Murray Bridge home last year.
Sally Rothe was murdered at her Murray Bridge home last year.

 

Justice Peek said in imposing the non-parole-period, he also took into account that Kirchner had shown little or no contrition and after the killing had immediately fled to Victoria, where he was arrested after an extensive manhunt.

In victim impact statements read to the court in October last year, Ms Rothe's family remembered the mother-of-three as a "beautiful soul" who fell victim to a heinous crime.

"Travis Kirchner's extremely violent actions have had a devastating effect on myself and my family," her sister Christine McMurdo said.

 

Murray Bridge murderer Travis Kirchner after being arrested in Melbourne.
Murray Bridge murderer Travis Kirchner after being arrested in Melbourne.

 

"Why would a man my sister hardly knew want to murder her?

"I believe society has no place for him apart from jail."

If you or someone you know is affected by family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit the website. In an emergency, call triple-0



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