Update in murder trial of slain schoolgirl

Justin Stein’s mother Annemie Stein gave evidence on Thursday (left). Picture: NewsWire / David Swift

Prosecutors have called their final witnesses in Justin Stein’s murder trial over allegations he shot schoolgirl Charlise Mutten twice and stuffed her body in a barrel before rolling it down an embankment, the jury has heard.

Mr Stein is facing trial after pleading not guilty to murder, but has admitted to disposing of the nine-year-old girl’s body.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering the daughter of his former fiancee Kallista Mutten at a property owned by his parents before dumping her body, which was concealed in a plastic barrel, near the Colo River.

But he claims he saw Ms Mutten shoot her daughter at the family property on the night of January 12, after the couple spent the day together injecting ice and having sex at Sydney’s Centennial Park.

Ms Mutten faced the trial as a witness earlier this week where she denied shooting her daughter, asking Mr Stein’s lawyer “are you serious?” when the allegation was put to her.

After brief re-examination of the officer-in-charge Detective Sergeant Bradley Gardiner on Friday, Crown prosecutor Nicholas Marney announced their case was closed.

Charlise Mutten was shot twice before her body was put in a barrel.
Charlise Mutten was shot twice before her body was 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 is accused of the murder.

Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson explained to the jury it had heard “all the evidence the crown case puts before you”.

Judge Wilson told the jury Mr Stein’s defence counsel, Carolyn Davenport SC, intends to call a case which will begin on Monday.

Mr Stein’s mother Annemie took to the witness stand on Thursday where the jury heard she attended Katoomba Police Station on February 17, 2022 — one month after Charlise’s body had been recovered.

She spoke to the officer in charge, Detective Sergeant Bradley Gardiner, who told her the fatal gunshot “appears consistent” with a rifle found near the Mount Wilson property.

COURT - Kallista Mutten
Charlise’s mother, Kallista Mutten, denied allegations she shot and killed her daughter. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“She was shot twice, wasn’t she? That’s what’s being reported,” Annemie told Sgt Gardiner, the jury heard.

He replied: “We have only reported that Charlise died from a gunshot injury, we have not disclosed any information.”

Annemie responded saying she “didn’t know what’s going on” but hoped police “had an eye on her”.

In court on Thursday, she told the jury she was “absolutely” referring to Ms Mutten.

The jury has heard the defence claims Ms Mutten shot her daughter behind the chicken shed on the Mount Wilson property on the night of January 12.

Under questioning from her son’s defence barrister Timothy Kent, Annemie told the court the relationship between Ms Mutten and her daughter wasn’t “as it should be”.

“The way she was with her child … the aggression she showed her child, it wasn’t a comfortable mother-daughter relationship as it should be,” she said on Thursday.

The court briefly heard from Damien Cossey on Thursday, who the jury heard supplied Mr Stein and Ms Mutten with $50 of marijuana and $100 of methylamphetamine, as well as needles about midday on January 12.

Annemie Stein (left) made claims about Kallista Mutten during her evidence. Picture: NewsWire / David Swift

Prosecutors allege Charlise was already dead by the time Mr Stein had collected Ms Mutten from the caravan park, 90 minutes away from Mount Wilson, before they travelled into Surry Hills and bought the drugs from Mr Cossey.

But the defence claims Charlise was still alive and in the back seat of the ute, lying down.

When asked whether he saw anyone in the car other than Mr Stein or Ms Mutten, he said: “No, I didn’t.”

In her evidence this week, Ms Mutten told the jury Mr Stein told her Charlise woke up vomiting in the early hours of January 12 and left her in the care of a female auctioneer before leaving to spend the day together.

The pair spent the day injecting ice and having sex, before the jury heard they arrived back at the Mount Wilson property about 8.44pm to find no-one home.

The jury heard Mr Stein claimed he left about 4pm on January 13 to search for Charlise but prosecutors allege he dumped the barrel with Charlise’s body.

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.

The trial will resume with the defence case on Monday.