A Queensland jury has been discharged after it was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a New Zealander charged over the death of a man on a busy motorway in 2015.
Tamate Henry Heke was fighting allegations he unlawfully killed Shane Merrigan by punching the 50-year-old before he was fatally hit by a rubbish truck on the Gateway Motorway.
Brisbane Supreme Court jurors retired shortly before 11am on Friday to start deliberations but were discharged at 3pm on Monday after they were unable to reach either a unanimous or majority verdict.
It came after they indicated via notes that they were at a "complete impasse" and "absolutely deadlocked" on key elements of the case.
At the start of the trial, Heke pleaded not guilty to one count of manslaughter, as well as not guilty to an alternative charge of unlawful striking causing death, over the incident at Eight Mile Plains on December 1, 2015.
BREAKING: A jury has been discharged after they failed to reach a verdict on the trial of accused motorway road rage killer Tamate Heke. pic.twitter.com/H5e1ajhZDT— 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) August 7, 2017
The two men had never met before the fatal encounter and were both making their way home from work when they pulled over to face each other "for about 13 seconds", the trial heard.
Photographs showing the truck's blood-splattered undercarriage were viewed by jurors on the first day of the trial, as well as graphic footage from a motorway camera showing the two cars pulling onto the road's shoulder, the men getting out and the moment of impact.
But in his closing remarks, defence barrister Anthony Kimmins had argued his client was a victim of road rage and said Mr Merrigan's driving style that afternoon had been "aggressive".
Tamate Henry Heke was fighting allegations he unlawfully killed Shane Merrigan by punching the 50-year-old before he was fatally hit by a rubbish truck on the Gateway Motorway. Source: AAP
"Whilst minding his own business, the Gateway Motorway... turned into a version of The Fast and The Furious," he said.
But crown prosecutor Clare Kelly had urged jurors to convict Heke, claiming his blow felled Mr Merrigan like a tree.
After discharging the jury, Justice Peter Applegarth listed the matter for review on August 11.
Newsbreak - August 7