Three dogs barking ignited a fight between two neighbouring families in central western NSW that ended with a teenager shooting dead the pets' owner, a court has been told.
Twenty minutes before Jesse Herridge was blasted with a shotgun a young woman walked past his home and yelled "shut the f*** up" at his barking dogs.
The 25-year-old eventually pursued his neighbours a few doors down on Porter Street in Parkes where he was shot holding an axe handle above his head on June 24, 2019.
Nathan Joseph Price pleaded not guilty to murder and to the lesser charge of unlawful killing as he was defending his mother from the approaching assailant, the NSW Supreme Court was told on Thursday.
The ultimate challenge for Justice Stephen Rothman in the judge-alone trial was whether the shooting was done in self-defence.
Price was 18 and living with his mother Tracey Simpson and others including the other resident who shouted at Mr Herridge's dogs about 4.40pm, crown prosecutor Liam Shaw said in his opening address.
The animal owner shouted in return: "You shut the f*** up you redheaded slut."
An annoyed Mr Herridge then phoned a neighbour about the dispute saying he wouldn't shut his pets up because they were only doing their job.
But he wasn't incensed at this point, only protecting his dogs as they were his family, his girlfriend of 10 years told the court.
The insulted woman arrived at the accused's home saying "the young fella up the road had given it to her," and Ms Simpson walked outside and continued the argument.
Mr Herridge was yelling and screaming things like "you want to come and f***ing fight, come here," she is expected to say in evidence.
His partner Stephanie Leonard said he asked her three times to retrieve the axe handle but she refused, and he only fetched it after seeing "the boy" holding something in his hands.
Defence lawyer Ian Nash questioned her recollection - saying it was before Price armed himself.
"My memory is very clear ... after I didn't pick it up he called me a fat slut ... I think I would remember who had a weapon first," she said.
Ms Leonard followed down the street yelling "Jesse stop, please stop".
At some point Price retrieved a loaded shortened 12-gauge shotgun as Mr Herridge was seen holding the weapon above his head as if "to hit the boy".
The pair were about 50cm away from each other when "all of a sudden I heard a loud bang," Ms Leonard told police.
"Jesse turned around with a stick in his hand and blood everywhere. He said 'help'."
While neighbours called emergency services the injured man staggered away from the front yard and fell facedown in a gutter where police found him just after 5pm.
Despite his girlfriend and another administering CPR he was pronounced dead in hospital from a chest wound.
A toxicology report later found high levels of methylamphetamine in his blood.
Price was arrested on the spot with his hands in the air proclaiming: "It was me I shot him, I was protecting my family".
Later he said: "I told him I had it, I told him to stop, I f***ing gave him his warnings".
The Crown argues it took some time to assemble the gun which was a clear indication he intended to kill his neighbour or at least seriously wound him.
The trial continues.