Slain schoolgirl had drugs in system: court

Juustin Stein Court sketch comp
Justin Stein is accused of killing Charlise Mutten.

Alleged murderer Justin Stein has denied claims he gave Charlise Mutten his schizophrenia medication and killed the schoolgirl, telling a jury he “never touched” her when he was suggested he had shot her twice.

Mr Stein continued giving evidence in defence of his murder charge at his NSW Supreme Court trial on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering the daughter of his former fiancee, Kallista Mutten, at a property owned by his parents before dumping her body, which was concealed in a plastic barrel, near the Colo River.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder but admits to disposing of the nine-year-old’s body.

“I’m suggesting you killed, shot Charlise Mutten twice,” Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC told Mr Stein, who returned to the witness box on Tuesday for further cross-examination.

Mr Stein replied: “I understand that but no, I never touched her.”

The prosecutor suggested Mr Stein had “removed whatever evidence was left” from the crime scene, which he denied.

Court sketch of alleged killer Justin Stein giving evidence. Picture: NewsWire / Vincent de Gouw
Court sketch of alleged killer Justin Stein giving evidence. Picture: NewsWire / Vincent de Gouw

Charlise had travelled to Sydney from Tweed Heads on December 21, 2021, and spent her time split between Mr Stein’s family property at Mount Wilson, where she was allegedly killed, and at the Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park in Lower Portland about 90 minutes away.

Prosecutors allege Mr Stein was the “last person” to see Charlise and had the opportunity to kill her between 7.16pm on January 11 and 10.06am on January 12.

Mr Stein became emotional on Monday as he told the jury he saw Ms Mutten shoot her daughter on the night of January 12. Ms Mutten denies the claims.


The jury previously heard Charlise had ingested schizophrenia medication in the six hours before she died.

Forensic pharmacologist with NSW Police Dr Judith Perl gave evidence early in the trial and told the jury the drug was detected in Charlise’s spleen liquid.

She told the court the drug was not safe for children, and had only been TGA approved for people aged 10 years and above.

Reading from her report, Dr Perl told the court: “I do however consider it possible the Quetiapine may have been ingested within six hours of death due to the presence of it in the stomach of the deceased.”

The jury heard Mr Stein had been prescribed Seroquel for his schizophrenia at 21, and told the court he had some in multiple locations.

Mr McKay suggested Mr Stein had given Charlise the Seroquel before he shot her.

Mr Stein alleges Kallista Mutten killed her daughter. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Charlise Mutten was allegedly shot twice.
Charlise Mutten was allegedly shot twice.

“No, never,” Mr Stein responded.

The prosecutor pressed again: “Did she become quite sick after you gave her Seroquel?”

“I didn’t give her Seroquel,” Mr Stein said.

Mr Stein denied claims from the prosecutor he had shot the girl and had “used a .22 rifle to do it”.

But he said he “didn’t shoot her”.


Mr Stein also denied removing evidence of the crime, and told the jury Ms Mutten was responsible for putting Charlise’s body in a barrel on his ute.

After claiming to have witnessed Ms Mutten shoot her daughter, Mr Stein told the jury he didn’t see Charlise or her mother until the following morning.

He said he had loaded an empty barrel onto his ute on January 13, with plans to do some construction work at the caravan park.

Supplied Editorial **MUST CREDIT 9 NEWS** Police are continuing an extensive search for\n a missing nine-year-old girl who was holidaying in the NSW Blue Mountains.\n Charlise Mutten, 9, was reported missing from a Mt Wilson property at about\n 8.20am on Friday and has reportedly been missing since Thursday.. Picture:9 News
Charlise disappeared from the Mount Wilson property. Picture: 9 News

Mr Stein told the court he believes Ms Mutten had put Charlise’s 33.5kg body in the barrel while he wasn’t looking.

“Do you just assume that at some time, whilst Kallista was out of your sight, the body ends up in the barrel?” Mr McKay asked.

Mr Stein responded: “Yes”.


The 33-year-old was also grilled about the differences in various accounts he had given to police in his two interviews, his mother from calls in prison and even Ms Mutten since 2022.

Mr Stein claimed there was “confusion” in his interviews and phone calls with his mother.

“Yes, there’s quite a number of mistakes in these phone calls,” he told the prosecutor.

Asked about his current version of events in relation to finding out Charlise’s body was in the back of his ute, the jury heard a phone call to Mr Stein’s mother from February 2022.

In the call, Mr Stein said he was contacted by Ms Mutten on January 13 while at Bunnings and was told “Charlise is on the back of the ute”.

Mr Stein is accused of driving around Sydney with Charlise’s body in a barrel on the back of his ute. Picture: NSW Police
Mr Stein is accused of driving around Sydney with Charlise’s body in a barrel on the back of his ute. Picture: NSW Police

But in his evidence on Monday, he claimed he didn’t know Charlise’s body was in the barrel until later that night when he went to fix the tarp as a ratchet strap came loose.

“I’m not sure why I said that last part,” he told Mr McKay on Tuesday.

Mr McKay said: “Just more confusion?”

“Yeah,” Mr Stein replied.

Under cross-examination by Mr McKay, Mr Stein said he knew the lies that Ms Mutten had told him to tell would “catch up” with him.

“I knew it would catch up with me, especially with regards of dumping that barrel,” he said.

“I knew I would eventually be arrested.”

He was questioned about why he didn’t tell police in either of his two interviews the story he claimed was the truth and only told a Correctives Services officer when he was charged.

Mr Stein said his “whole world” had just come falling apart.

“I’ve literally been charged with murder for something I didn’t do. I lost everything within a matter of minutes, so I came forward and told the truth of what happened,” he said.

The trial continues.