Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett.
Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett. Contributed

Murder trial witness denies drug overdose theory

ROBERT Martinez and Chantal Barnett died from a drug overdose and were not murdered, the Supreme Court at Rockhampton heard yesterday.

Ian Robert Armstrong and Daniel George Hong are accused of murdering Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett between March 2-7, 2013.

Armstrong's defence barrister Andrew Hoare made the overdose allegations while questioning Paul Moore, the last man to talk to the pair by mobile phone on March 2.

Mr Moore admitted taking Mr Martinez' jewellery from a car abandoned on Bowlin Rd, Depot Hill, on March 17.

Mr Hoare put it to Mr Moore that he took Mr Martinez' jewellery because he knew he didn't need the items any more, which Mr Moore denied.

Mr Hoare also put it to Mr Moore that he was at 'Red Bridge' on Bowlin Rd with Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett on March 2 doing drugs.

He alleged Mr Moore saw the pair overdose on 'Syn', panicked, and dumped their bodies into the water before fleeing.

He made it clear he was not accusing Mr Moore of killing either Mr Martinez or Ms Barnett.

However, Mr Moore denied the allegations.

The last call answered by Ms Barnett's phone at 1.22pm on March 2, 2013, was made by Mr Moore who is self-confessed drug addict, opportunistic thief, and convicted drug trafficker.

Hong's defence barrister Stephen Kissick said records showed Mr Moore contacted Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett 247 times in the 26 days prior to the last call Ms Barnett answered.

Mr Hoare said phone records obtained by police showed the 10-hour lack of phone use by Mr Moore after 2.50pm, including one when he admitted telling his partner "to pack up the house. Something fucked up."

"This is completely out of character according to your records," Mr Hoare said.

Mr Moore told the court he was in Marlborough looking after his children for the 10 hours in question.

But later in the proceedings, the court heard he went to Stanthorpe "straight away".

Mr Kissick questioned Mr Moore about his relationships with both Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett. It was established Mr Moore thought of Mr Martinez like a brother and "would never do anything to harm him" and did ice with both.

However, Mr Moore said he did not source or take 'Syn', aka MDPV or synthetic amphetamines, with either Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett.

The court heard two weeks later, Mr Moore claimed he was at 'Red Bridge' during daylight taking drugs with his brother-in-law when he spotted the abandoned Commodore Martinez was last seen driving.

Mr Moore then messaged Mr Martinez' defacto partner Melissa McKenzie telling her about the car, but didn't enquire about Mr Martinez.

That night, Mr Moore returned to 'Red Bridge' with his partner.

"I threw a rock at the car," Mr Moore said.

He said it hit the passenger side window, smashing it.

He then "went to have a look", taking a gold Echo watch and ring he recognised as Mr Martinez', along with cash and clothing.

Ms McKenzie told the court on Wednesday that she gave Mr Martinez the jewellery and he never took it off, not even to shower.

"It was just a free hit," Mr Moore claimed.

"I didn't know it was exactly Robbie's (Martinez) until I saw the watch."

The court heard that after ransacking the car, Mr Moore went to Ms Barnett's house and stole a laptop which he later sold for drugs.

"The door was open. I saw the laptop," he said.

The court heard Mr Moore called Mr Martinez' sister Helen on March 25, but again didn't ask about Mr Martinez.

The trial continues.



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