Child killer’s crazed phone calls revealed

Charlise Mutten was shot twice and her body put in a barrel.
Charlise Mutten was shot twice and her body put in a barrel.

Justin Stein shot schoolgirl Charlise Mutten twice before deceiving the people closest to him, lying to police and disposing of evidence in a desperate attempt to cover up his crime.

His lies began hours after he killed the schoolgirl and continued more than two years later to his trial where he told the jury: “I never killed Charlise”.

But the jury would find his version of events to be more lies and convicted Stein of the nine-year-old’s murder after six days of deliberation.

The jury found he killed Charlise at a Mount Wilson property owned by his parents before he wrapped her body and dumped it in a barrel down near the Colo River.

Stein murdered Charlise, the daughter of his former fiancee Kallista Mutten, at a property owned by his parents at Mount Wilson in the NSW Blue Mountains before wrapping her body and dumping it in a barrel down an embankment near the Colo River.

He pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted to disposing of her body.

Charlise Mutten was shot twice and her body put in a barrel.
Charlise Mutten was shot twice and her body put in a barrel.
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 was found guilty of murder.

“He has to tell the lie to cover the truth that he is responsible for the murder of Charlise Mutten,” Crown Prosecutor Ken McKay SC told the jury in his closing argument.

Even during evidence, Stein admitted he had lied over fears dumping the barrel would eventually “catch up” with him.

But the jury found it to be another lie, with Stein claiming he “went along with Kallista’s story.

“I knew dumping that barrel would catch up with me, so I lied and went along with Kallista’s story,” he told the jury.

“I knew I would eventually be arrested”.


While her exact time of death is not known, 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.

Justin Stein pictured buying sand at Bunnings. Picture: NSW Supreme Court
Justin Stein pictured buying sand at Bunnings. Picture: NSW Supreme Court
Justin Stein at Bunnings. Picture: NSW Supreme Court
Justin Stein at Bunnings. Picture: NSW Supreme Court

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC told the jury Stein’s lies began on the morning of January 12, 2022, at a time when prosecutors claim Charlise was already dead.

But her disappearance wasn’t reported to police until January 14, and her body found four days later on January 18.

Over the course of that week, Stein lied to Ms Mutten, his mother, police and even neighbours, changing his story multiple times in an attempt to conceal the truth.

His initial lies began on the morning of January 12, when he told Ms Mutten Charlise was “vomiting everywhere” when she woke up.

“Am literally about to walk out the door. Charsey is staying put in bed. She’s wrecked, and already fallen back to sleep,” Stein said in a text to Ms Mutten.

Stein’s lies began with his former partner Kallista Mutten. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Assignment Freelance Picture The last known pictures of Charlise Mutten. Picture: Supplied.
One of the last photos taken of Charlise. Picture: NSW Supreme Court

Ms Mutten told the court Stein told her an “auctioneer lady” had come to the house, who was “practically like a nurse” and was “happy to mind Charlise, even overnight”.

She told the court she thought Stein was “organising to elope” with her and picked her up from the caravan park, before they travelled into the city where they injected ice and had sex in a park.

In court, Stein claimed Charlise was still alive and “laid down” in the back seat of the car.

They returned to Mount Wilson at 8.44pm to find no one in the house and called his mother, who told him there was no auctioneer lady.


In his first interview with police he said he “started to panic” and walked around the property looking for Charlise.

In the early hours of the next morning Ms Mutten took Stein’s Holden Colorado to a nearby park to “pray for her daughter”.

While gone, Stein left multiple voicemails on Ms Mutten’s phone saying he was going to “f**king kill” her.

WARNING: Language. Justin Stein's angry voicemails to his partner have been revealed after he was found guilty of killing schoolgirl Charlise Mutten.

Assignment Freelance Picture Justin Stein during an interview with police at Penrith Station.\n Picture: Supplied.
Justin Stein talking to police. Picture: NSW Supreme Court

Stein called the police about the stolen car, again lying and saying he didn’t know who had taken the vehicle from the property, but it “may have been his ex-partner”.

Ms Mutten later returned with the ute.

Justin Stein's police interview can be revealed after he was found guilty of murdering schoolgirl Charlise Mutten.

Stein left the property just after 4pm that day, with Mr McKay telling the jury Stein left under the pretence he was “going to war” to look for Charlise.

Stein had suggested a criminal associate from his past with “bad blood” may have taken Charlise.

When Ms Mutten asked if she could call police, Stein lied again and told her: “If the police get involved, they will kill Charlise”.

The 33-year-old spent hours on the night of January 13 driving around Sydney with plans to dispose of the girl’s body.

Justin Stein’s lies were rejected by the jury. Picture: NCA Newswire / Vincent de Gouw
Justin Stein’s lies were rejected by the jury. Picture: NCA Newswire / Vincent de Gouw


While he was out, Stein lied to his mother, claiming he was “camped in the car watching” for Charlise and was “going to war” to find her.

Stein drove to Rose Bay wharf in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Drummoyne wharf in the inner west and Windsor boat ramp before eventually dumping the barrel in the early hours of January 14 near the Colo River.

Ms Mutten told the court when Stein arrived home he told her Charlise wasn’t with his former crime associates and she could finally call police.

She reported her daughter missing on the morning of January 14, with Stein called into Penrith police station later that morning for an interview.

His interview was played to the jury, where he kept up his first story about the auctioneer lady.

He began to get emotional and broke down, saying he felt “responsible” for leaving the girl with the woman he believed was a real estate agent.

Asked if he was telling the truth, Stein said he had “no reason to lie” before the officers asked if he was involved in Charlise’s death.

“No … no … never,” he said.

“That kid really does mean the world to me, you know what I mean. I don’t have much experience but this was my chance … She was going to be my little girl.”


But Stein would later flip on Ms Mutten, telling different police officers Charlise’s disappearance was “f**king killing him”.

He claimed his “gut” told him it had “something to do with Kallista’s family”.

His story changed again, telling police he had lied to try to protect his fiancee and elements of his interview were true but there were “aspects” missing.

Stein said the story about the auctioneer lady wasn’t “his thing” but rather a story he was told to tell by Ms Mutten.

“Kallista has been planning to take Charlise … I didn’t know when she was going to do it,” he claimed.

Stein also lied to his mother, Annemie Stein (pictured left). Picture: NewsWire / David Swift

Stein said Ms Mutten was the person who didn’t want police involved, despite his urges to get help.

“For once I haven’t done anything wrong here and that’s the God’s honest truth,” Stein said.

“She basically dumped on me this f**king far-fetched load of sh*t … It’s like I was being hung out to f**king dry.”


The jury was told Stein had also deleted messages between himself and Ms Mutten off his phone before his second interview with police.

But in court he said he had no idea how the messages were removed from his phone.

Charlise’s body was discovered on January 18, 2022.

Stein was arrested and charged with murder later that day, changing his story again and telling a NSW Correctives officer Ms Mutten killed her daughter.

The claims were repeated in prison phone calls with his mother in the weeks following his arrest, but Stein said he couldn’t tell his mother “everything over the phone”.

Assignment Freelance Picture The guns used by Justin Stein to murder Charlise Mutten. Picture: Supplied.
The gun used by Justin Stein to murder Charlise Mutten. Picture: NSW Supreme Court

After both his mother and Stein had seen the police fact sheet, which detailed the allegations against him and the times police believed Charlise had been killed, the pair began talking about Charlise’s death.

His mother, Annemie Stein made comments that Ms Mutten had clearly killed her daughter “in the wee hours” of January 13, which Stein agreed to.

But when he gave evidence in court, Stein claimed Ms Mutten shot her daughter on the night of January 12.

When questioned by Crown prosecutor Ken McKay about his changes, Stein said: “That was a miscommunication on my part”.


Mr McKay claimed Stein had changed his story after finally seeing the brief of evidence, which pinpointed Ms Mutten away from the home when he first claimed she killed her daughter.

But all he could say in court was: “I made a mistake when talking to my mother”.

Stein drove around Sydney for hours with Charlise’s body in the back of the barrel. Picture: NSW Police
Stein drove around Sydney for hours with Charlise’s body in the back of the barrel. Picture: NSW Police

In his closing address, Mr McKay pointed to two acts which he said led to Stein’s consciousness of guilt – deleting the Facebook messages with Ms Mutten off his phone, and wrapping up the firearm before burying it in a bush.

Mr McKay argued the deleting of messages was a “deliberate act” by Stein because he was conscious those messages would implicate him in Charlise’s murder.

Meanwhile, the concealing of the firearm was because he wanted to hide the murder weapon.

While Stein acknowledged he lied to police, he disputes ever lying to Ms Mutten about Charlise’s whereabouts, claiming in court the story about the auctioneer lady was manufactured by his former partner.

But Mr McKay said when Stein lied and maintained a pretence of searching for Charlise, he did so because the lies “gave him time” to dispose of her body” and get rid of other evidence.

The prosecutor argued Stein had feared the discovery of the messages and the gun would reveal his guilt for Charlise’s murder, and feared that telling the truth would implicate him.

“It’s just nonsense … it just did not happen that way,” Mr McKay said of Stein’s evidence.

Mr McKay told the jury Stein’s stories were “completely different” because he was never telling a factual story and was adjusting his accounts after finding out more information.

Stein will be sentenced at a later date.