Murder victim Michael James McCabe from Charters Towers.
Murder victim Michael James McCabe from Charters Towers.

Murder trial: Man had ‘$10,000 on his head’

A DRUG user whose body was found in a dry, rocky creek bed told people he had a $10,000 target on his head in the days leading up to his disappearance, a court has been told.

A trial into the alleged murder of Charters Towers man Michael McCabe in 2015 began yesterday in the Supreme Court in Townsville.

Brent Malcolm Huxley pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr McCabe on August 16 2015 while Matthew Luke Horima Rewha is charged with and pleaded not guilty to unlawful assault occasioning actual bodily harm on August 15, 2016.

Leonie Maree Doyle leaving the Supreme Court of Townsville.
Leonie Maree Doyle leaving the Supreme Court of Townsville.

Mr McCabe's cousin Leonie Maree Doyle, who was Huxley's girlfriend, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

She pleaded not guilty to that charge but pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said in his opening statement that Mr McCabe travelled to Townsville from Charters Towers on August 15, 2016, with Doyle and a woman named Candis Greer, who was in a relationship with Rewha, and during the trip Mr McCabe and Ms Greer flirted.

Mr Crane told the jury that they went to a unit in Kirwan, where Huxley, Rewha and another man were at the time.

The Crown alleges that after learning of the interaction between Ms Greer and Mr McCabe during the car trip, Rewha assaulted him and he was then taken from the address in a vehicle by Huxley and another man.

Crown Prosecutor Nathan Crane leaving the Supreme Court of Townsville.
Crown Prosecutor Nathan Crane leaving the Supreme Court of Townsville.

"When police eventually seized that vehicle … they identified areas of bleeding within that boot, blood of which the DNA matched Michael McCabe," Mr Crane said.

"At some stage during the early hours of August 16 … all of the group in their separate cars returned to the unit in relative proximity to each other.

"They all returned to the unit and there was cleaning of the unit."

Mr Crane told the jury Mr McCabe was a drug user and before his death had told people that he "had $10,000 on his head".

Mr Crane said Huxley made admissions to an acquaintance that he had "smashed a rock" on a person's head.

"He said the motivation for him smashing the rock on this person's head is he had $10,000 on his head," he said.

"And the Crown certainly leads that particular conversation because it is an admission to conduct that is consistent to the injuries identified in Michael McCabe, that he had severe fractures to the right side of the face, consistent with a rock being smashed into the side of his face."

Mr McCabe's mother Kathryn McCabe, told the court that her son used ice and would sometimes disappear for days at a time.

Doyle's father Gary Doyle, the uncle of Mr McCabe said the last time he saw his nephew was when he left his house with his daughter on August 15.

"He said 'if you don't hear from me in a week, be very worried'," he said.

But defence barrister Harvey Walters, representing Huxley, questioned why Mr Doyle had not told police about that comment when making his first statement to police.

"It just slipped my mind," Mr Doyle said.

The trial continues.



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