A Queensland jury is deciding whether there is enough evidence to find a Cairns mechanic guilty of the murder of a Mt Isa couple.
The jury in the trial of a far north Queensland mechanic accused of murdering a couple over a panel van dispute has retired to consider its verdict.
The six men and six women are deciding the fate of Brandon MacGowan, 43, who has been on trial in the Supreme Court in Cairns for the alleged murders of Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells whose bodies were found in scrub near Cairns in July, 2012.
The Mount Isa couple flew to Cairns on July 5, 2012, to collect a panel van from MacGowan, who picked the pair up from the airport that evening.
A van stained with the couple’s blood was found in a Cairns car park several days later.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller has argued that the accused killed the pair because of a long-standing dispute over $14,000 worth of restoration work he’d agreed to carry out on the van.
He has told the court MacGowan responded with extreme violence when they arrived to collect their van because he’d spent the funds and hadn’t carried out the work on the vehicle.
MacGowan gave evidence that the last time he saw the pair was when they left his Cairns workshop on the night of July 5, 2012, in a white van he had let them borrow.
He has denied killing them.
One witness told the court he saw a screaming woman fall out of a parked van which had been driven by a man who identified himself as MacGowan.
A friend of MacGowan’s also told the court the accused turned up to his flat in the early hours of July 6, 2012, with blood on his clothes and an injured hand. He alleged MacGowan had driven a white van to his property and that he later found blood on the van.
However, defence lawyer Josh Trevino disputed evidence given by the crown witnesses, saying the men had changed their stories since giving evidence to detectives soon after the couple was reported missing in 2012.
He also said no blood was found on MacGowan’s clothes and his DNA wasn’t found in the van.
Justice Jim Henry cautioned jurors on Thursday to carefully consider all of the evidence.