Vic man denies fatally stabbing new friend

Amber Wilson

A man accused of fatally stabbing his new friend in the chest for "no good reason" may have left a shoe print connecting him to the crime, a Melbourne court has been told.

Danny Volpe is on trial in the Supreme Court for the September 2016 murder of 39-year-old Cameron Harris, whose body was found in a car park next to a preschool in Upper Ferntree Gully.

Prosecutor Sally Flynn QC said on Thursday the two men had met a few days earlier through mutual friend Paul Bugeja.

But she said their relationship quickly turned "hostile" with Volpe, 56 at the time, complaining to Mr Bugeja about Mr Harris being rude to him and that he was "going to knock that c***".

Witness Debbie Cooke said she saw two men arguing outside the Croydon library, then a "larger" man grab an axe before the pair started "chesting each other".

The Crown claims Mr Harris later phoned Mr Bugeja, with the latter joining him in his ute.

It is then alleged Volpe approached as Mr Harris called out: "Hey Danny, I'm sorry".

Volpe then walked to the car's passenger seat, where Mr Harris was sitting, and said words to the effect of "don't you threaten my family" before stabbing Mr Harris through the open window, the Crown alleges.

Mr Bugeja wasn't aware his friend had been stabbed, it is asserted, but later noticed Mr Harris seemed "pretty crook".

It is then claimed Volpe drove Mr Harris to the Upper Ferntree Gully car park.

Police say they found a shoe impression next to Mr Harris' body and made a plaster cast.

They claim a running shoe found at Volpe's house could have made that impression.

"This stabbing was really an inexplicable attack carried out by the accused for really no good reason," Ms Flynn said.

But defence barrister John Desmond argued Volpe was "not the killer" and wasn't present at the time of Mr Harris' death.

He said that initially, Mr Bugeja was accused of the murder, and he and his partner Mark Cox "nominated" Volpe instead to "deflect attention from themselves".

"These two witnesses ... are the twin towers of deception," he said.

"The credibility and reliability of each of these men is hotly in dispute."

The trial continues.