As psychological thriller Cape Fear played on his TV late one December night, James Curbo says he heard a loud scream outside that rattled him, went to his window and saw two men start "viciously" beating a homeless pensioner.
The Sydney man told the NSW Supreme Court he yelled "get the hell out of here, you're beating the hell out him" from his first-floor unit and said he'd call the police.
"And then that's when I got the three-word response: 'I don't care'," the witness said on Thursday.
Tradesman Christopher McLaughlin, 25, and flatmate Nathan Kelly, 23, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Tavelardis after allegedly attacking him on a Summer Hill street about 12.30am on December 29, 2018.
Barristers for both men say neither formed intent to kill or inflict really serious harm and have suggested the 66-year-old, who died in hospital nine days later, made the first move.
Mr Curbo told the trial he was watching Cape Fear in his underwear and heard a man loudly scream outside.
"When I heard that scream, it was a scream of fear," he said.
"It was a scream that rattled me and that's why I went to the window."
Watching "like a hawk on a tree", Mr Curbo saw two men speaking with an aggressive tone in the street before the pair walked towards Mr Tavelardis' station wagon.
The older man came around his vehicle with what appeared to be a plank of wood and raised his arm, the resident said.
"They walked right into him and started viciously beating the hell out of him," Mr Curbo said.
"I think he tried to protect himself with no success at all. He should have never walked around that car with that board."
The court heard Mr Curbo's view of the moving incident became obscured by a fence but he could hear Mr Tavelardis "getting beat".
After yelling out and hearing the reply "I don't care", Mr Curbo rang triple zero and told the operator "two men down below me are killing a guy"
"Just get the police here," Mr Curbo says on the recorded call, played to the jury.
A minute later, Detective Senior Constable Matthew Mackie arrived and saw McLaughlin standing in the street, with bloodied knuckles and fingers.
"I noticed what appeared to be blood splatter around his ankles," he told the court on Thursday.
Blood was also splattered on the white trim and soles of McLaughlin's shoes but the detective said he couldn't see an injury to indicate the blood was that of the intoxicated Irishman.
He soon found an unconscious Mr Tavelardis lying on the ground with his eyes open and his face covered in so much blood it "obscured" his injuries, the court heard.
"I feared he was choking on his blood and feared he was going to die as a result," Det Sen Const Mackie said.
The jury heard a slurring McLaughlin told police the injured man had been trying to break into his ute.
The accused men's lawyers have suggested the homeless man struck Kelly with a metal pipe after being confronted by the Irishmen, who lived on the street..
Kelly had been kicked out of the pub about three hours earlier while McLaughlin was described by a witness on Thursday as "blind drunk" about 11pm.
The trial continues.