‘Daddy’: Mum’s tears over last talk with 9yo

Justin Stein is accused of murdering Charlise Mutten.
Justin Stein is accused of murdering Charlise Mutten.

The mother of slain schoolgirl Charlise Mutten has told a jury through tears of the final thing her daughter asked of her: to let her “go with daddy” back to his family property, where it is alleged she was fatally shot.

Kallista Mutten, 40, took to the witness stand on Monday to give evidence against her former partner Justin Stein in the NSW Supreme Court.

Mr Stein, 33, is facing trial after pleading not guilty to murder, but has admitted to disposing of the schoolgirl’s body.

He is accused of murdering his former fiance’s daughter at a property owned by his parents before dumping her body, which was concealed in a plastic barrel, near the Colo River area.

The girl was visiting her mother during the school holidays, and spent her time in NSW split between Mr Stein’s family property at Mount Wilson, where she was allegedly shot and killed, and at the Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park in Lower Portland about 1.5 hours away.

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC alleges Mr Stein was the “last person” to see Charlise and had the opportunity to her between 7.16pm on January 11 and 10.06am on January 12.

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 is accused of murdering Charlise Mutten.
Charlise Mutten’s body was found in a barrel.
Charlise Mutten’s body was found in a barrel.

“Can I go with daddy?”

Ms Mutten entered the witness stand on Monday wearing a long-sleeved black top and navy skirt as faced her daughter’s alleged murderer.

The 40-year-old told the jury of the final moments she spent with her daughter - swimming in the pool of the caravan park on January 11.

While they were there, Ms Mutten told the jury Mr Stein claimed he had to return to the Mount Wilson property that day to let a woman into the house the following day.

“He said to me he had to go back up to the Blue Mountains, to Mount Wilson, to let this auctioneer lady in for his mum because she was selling antiques,” Ms Mutten explained.

“Charlise had finished swimming in the pool and she said ‘Can I go with daddy, mum?’

“I said ‘yes, of course’.”

The jury was told Charlise had woken up vomiting the following morning, and Mr Stein claimed he left her in the care of the auctioneer while he travelled to pick up Ms Mutten.

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Kallista Mutten, pictured with Charlise, left, and outside court on Monday, right, has given evidence at the murder trial of her former partner Justin Stein.

Ms Mutten told the court Mr Stein had called her to explain the situation, and was told the woman had “three kids of her own and she’s practically like a nurse so Charlise was in good hands”.

Mr McKay told the court Mr Stein had sent Ms Mutten a text on the morning of January 12 which said “pack an overnight bag bub”.

“To be honest, I thought he was organising us to elope...that was the surprise they had for me so I wasn’t too sure,” Ms Mutten said.

She told the jury after Mr Stein had picked her up from the caravan park, they travelled into Sydney where they bought methylamphetamine, injected it in a nearby park and had sex.

“Liar and a cheat”

The pair then travelled back to the caravan park, where Ms Mutten said they were going to be “intimate again” before she grew worried for Charlise and returned to the Blue Mountains.

When they arrived at 8.44pm to the Mount Wilson property, there were no lights on in the house, which Ms Mutten told the court she didn’t find unusual.

She said she was “trying to be rational” about where Charlise was, and assumed the auctioneer lady had taken her daughter as she was unwell.

Overnight, the jury heard, Ms Mutten looked through her partner’s phone where she found messages which she believed were evidence of him cheating.

COURT - Kallista Mutten
Ms Mutten (centre) leaving Parramatta Court on Monday. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

She sent Mr Stein a message in the early hours of the morning calling him a “liar and a cheat” before taking his car to a nearby campground.

While there, she sent multiple messages to friends saying her daughter was “gone”.

Ms Mutten was asked whether she was still affected by the ice, to which she replied: “Yes and no”.

“(It) just numbs me from reality... so maybe if I hadn’t been on drugs I might have put the pieces together,” Ms Mutten told the court.

“Things weren’t adding up”

While away from the property, the jury was told Ms Mutten sent a message to Mr Stein saying “I’m calling the police soon”.

When asked why she sent the message, Ms Mutten told the jury: “Because I was feeling that things weren’t adding up and my daughter was missing”.

Through tears Ms Mutten told the court she was scared of Mr Stein when she arrived home, prompting her to go to the shed on the property and hide.

“He came in and was yelling ‘where are you? I’ll find you’...he found me and grabbed me and pushed me to the ground, and started kicking into me and hitting me, and grabbing my shoulders and my clothes,” Ms Mutten said.

“I remember just yelling just to stop because I want my daughter.

Justin Stein allegedly left the property at 4pm on January 13 with Charlise in the back of his ute. Picture: NSW Police
Justin Stein allegedly left the property at 4pm on January 13 with Charlise in the back of his ute. Picture: NSW Police

“He said ‘you’re going to get in trouble for this’, he said ‘do you think I’ve got anything to do with this for your daughter’.”

She told the court she hid in the bush, while Mr Stein told her if she didn’t come out he would “smash her phone”.

Ms Mutten told the court Mr Stein then took a phone call from his mother, who told him the “the auctioneer lady is not the auctioneer lady” and he thought his “ex-affiliations had...kidnapped her”.

She said she wanted to call police and Mr Stein had said no.

“He said ‘you ring the police and they will kill her’,” Ms Mutten told the court, before taking a moment to wipe her tears.

“Get rid of some evidence”

Later that day Mr Stein left the property about 4pm, with a barrel which had Charlise’s body in the back of the ute, and towing a boat.

The jury was earlier told Mr Stein had travelled to multiple wharves in Sydney before dumping the barrel near the Colo River in the early hours of the following morning.

The jury heard he had lied to his partner, claiming he was going “to war” to find Charlise.

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 property at Mount Wilson. Picture: 9News

When asked why he had taken the boat, Ms Mutten said he wanted to use it to possibly “get rid of evidence”.

“If s**t goes down and people get hurt or anything happens he’s going to probably try to get rid of some evidence,” she told the court.

Mr McKay told the jury Mr Stein sent a message later that night to Ms Mutten: “I’m about to go to war and you’re playing f**king games”.

Ms Mutten said she received a phone call later that evening from Mr Stein, who claimed he was with a friend “scoping out” a property.

In the early hours of January 14, the jury was told Ms Mutten sent a number of messages to friends saying her daughter had been kidnapped.

She also sent a message to Mr Stein saying she “can’t do it, I’m sorry”.

“I think I was just really overwhelmed, I think it was hitting home that she wasn’t coming back,” Ms Mutten said.

The barrel with Charlise’s body was found on January 18, 2022, after police went to the location as a result of going through Mr Stein’s phone.

Ms Mutten broke down when asked by Mr McKay if police told her Charlise’s body was found in the barrel while she was in hospital on the night of January 18.

“Yes,” she said.

Mr Stein’s lawyers allege it was Ms Mutten who shot and killed her daughter on the evening of January 12, 2022.She is yet to be asked about these allegations.

The trial continues before Justice Helen Wilson.