Jail for drug debt murder
Jail for drug debt murder

A man who shot an acquaintance in the head over a $2000 drug debt, and then dumped his body in bushland where two prospectors found it an hour later, has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years.

Codie William Davidson was convicted of murdering 32-year-old Ryan Penglase in the backyard of a suburban Kalgoorlie home in August 2012 following a trial earlier this year.

His friend Darby Paul Thomas MacKenzie was also found guilty by a jury of trying to help Davidson to cover up the killing.

Mr Penglase's body was discovered by two prospectors from about an hour after it was dumped in Kalgoorlie bushland following the shooting.

The trial was told that Davidson was furious about the $2000 debt owed to him by Mr Penglase and regularly complained about it.

After being tipped off by MacKenzie that he would soon be at his house, Davidson armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and confronted him - pointing the gun at him in a attempt to scare him into paying.

Justice Ralph Simmonds said he accepted he did not intend to fire the gun at Mr Penglase, but was still guilty of murder on the jury's verdict.

MacKenzie was found guilty of smashing up a computer which contained CCTV footage of the shooting, and arranged for the site of the shooting to be cleaned up.

In a police interview, Davidson said he had bought the gun because he thought it "looked cool" and said he only intended to use it as a “scare tactic.”

MacKenzie said in his interview that he wanted to report what happened to police but was intimidated into instead trying to conceal the killing.

Davidson's lawyer, Jonathan Davies, had argued his client acted in self-defence and Mr Penglase's death was an accident.

MacKenzie was jailed for a total of four years and two months for being an accessory to the murder, and for a separate, unrelated armed burglary. He will be eligible for parole in just over two years.

The West Australian

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