A man who allegedly killed his former partner on a rural property in Kyneton has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court.
Charles Evans on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court to murder, culpable driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death.
During the second day of a contested committal hearing, the court heard Evans, 45, had a blood alcohol reading of 0.087 five hours after he allegedly drove a vehicle that hit and killed Alicia Little on December 28, 2017.
In committing Evans to stand trial, Magistrate Patrick Southey said: “This is a difficult, and I found unusual case.”
“In my view they (jury) could (find you guilty of the charges) and I base this ruling in large part because it seems to me there is relevant and admissible evidence this was a violent and volatile relationship and had been for a long time.”
Magistrate Southey said, based on the evidence, a jury could conclude Evans, in a fit of rage, did drive the car at Ms Little.
The court heard Evans and Ms Little had been arguing before the incident, with Crown Prosecutor Neill Hutton describing the situation as “explosive”.
The court heard Ms Little called triple zero minutes before the incident and said she was the victim of domestic violence.
Police informant, Detective Leading Senior Constable Leigh Smyth, told the court a pool of Evans’ blood was located in the washbasin at a bathroom on the property.
The court heard Evans told police he was allegedly bitten on the nose by Ms Little, and Detective Leading Senior Constable Smyth said Evans had an injury consistent with that.
The court heard Ms Little’s cause of death was multiple injuries which stemmed from numerous broken ribs and back bones that caused internal bleeding.
Evans’ defence counsel, Peter Morrissey, said the circumstantial evidence of the case, that Ms Little hit the vehicle side on, showed an “accidental scenario”.
“What looks to be the case is she ran into the car,” he said.
Mr Hutton told the court: “A scenario that’s open is the accused goes to drive away in this explosive situation and takes an opportunity, either recklessly or intentionally, to drive close to, or even hit her.”
The court on Monday heard the vehicle was allegedly driven by Evans at a moderate speed of 16 kilometres per hour. Mr Morrissey said Evans did not see Ms Little coming from behind a water tank at the property and allegedly collided with her.
Evans was denied bail and will appear in the Supreme Court on December 7 for a directions hearing.