Major update after schoolgirl found in barrel

Justin Stein will face trial in May over the alleged murder of Charlise Mutten.
Justin Stein will face trial in May over the alleged murder of Charlise Mutten.

A man who allegedly murdered his nine-year-old stepdaughter and dumped her body in a barrel in the bush will face trial later this year.

Justin Stein, 32, appeared in the NSW Supreme Court via audio visual link on Monday as he prepares to stand trial over the allegations.

He is accused of murdering Charlise Mutten, the daughter of his fiancee, while on a family holiday in the NSW Blue Mountains and dumping her body in a plastic barrel.

The schoolgirl’s body was discovered with gunshot wounds in bushland near the Colo River in the NSW Central Tablelands in January 2022.

Mr Stein has denied murdering the nine-year-old after he was left alone with her on January 11.

Supplied Editorial Justin Stein and Kallista Mutten. She is the mother of missing girl Charlise Mutten and he is the fiancee. Picture: Facebook
Justin Stein will stand trial in May over the alleged murder of Charlise Mutten. Picture: Facebook

On Monday, Justice Helen Wilson confirmed that Mr Stein would face a seven-week trial in the NSW Supreme Court at Parramatta on May 6.

Prosecutor Ken McKay SC said the Crown would seek to rely on evidence of websites Mr Stein had accessed in the lead-up to January 12 when Charlise disappeared.

He also foreshadowed an application for the judge to visit the house in Mt Wilson where Mr Stein allegedly killed Charlise.

“We hope to have that done in the next three weeks,” he said.

Justice Wilson noted there would be “seasonal variations in the landscape” because the scene would be viewed in autumn when the schoolgirl was allegedly killed in January.

“We can consider this when we get to it,” she said.

Mr Stein was staying at his family’s property at Mt Wilson in January 2022 with his fiancee, Kallista Mutten, and her daughter Charlise when the schoolgirl vanished.

Prosecutors allege Mr Stein murdered the nine-year-old on either the evening of January 11 or in the early hours of January 12 when the pair were alone together.

Supplied Editorial New pic confirmed photo of Charlise Mutten. Supplied by a\n schoolfriend to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Charlise Mutten was nine years old when she was found dead near the Colo River.
Her body had been placed in a plastic barrel.
Her body had been placed in a plastic barrel.

He allegedly then travelled from Mt Wilson to Sydney’s northwest and inner west before returning to the Colo River, near the Hawkesbury, where he disposed of her body.

Charlise was declared missing on January 14, triggering a lengthy multi-agency search of the surrounding bushlands involving hundreds of volunteers.

Her body was found four days later inside a barrel in the bushland and Mr Stein was arrested.

He has remained behind bars on remand for two years as he awaits trial.