News

Man in court on murder charge after South Gladstone stabbing

The family of the accused pictured outside the police station.
The family of the accused pictured outside the police station.

UPDATE

MARK Bradley Hicks made a brief appearance before Gladstone Magistrates Court charged with the murder of  Justin Chapman, 22.

On December 4, Hicks 45, with a thin pencil line moustache dressed in prison greens spent most of the time sending silent messages to a woman dressed in purple in the public gallery believed to be his partner.

He often kept his hands clasped in front of him.

On the charge of murder no bail application was made. He was remanded in custody to February 2.

>> HOW THE STORY UNFOLDED

EARLIER

POLICE had been called to break up a fight at a Gladstone home hours before a 22-year-old man died of stab wounds at the address.

Justin Chapman died after being stabbed in the chest.
Justin Chapman died after being stabbed in the chest. Facebook

Justin Chapman died at the Elizabeth St address from a stab wound about 3.20am yesterday.

The Hervey Bay man took a knife to the chest in the South Gladstone home he and the 45-year-old man who has been charged with his murder were living in at the time. Paramedics and police could not save his life after the early morning call.

Police revealed later yesterday that that had been the second time they had been to the home that night after earlier reports of a fight out the front.

Capricornia District Detective Inspector Darren Shadlow said police had no reason to follow through with any action at the time of the first visit.

The neighbour who called the police about 10pm on Thursday said there was a "blue" going on in the yard.

"There were a bunch of them on the yard. It wasn't just two," he said. "When the cops came they were all quiet." Another neighbour said she saw a "punch on" later, near midnight, outside the yard. "I heard them partying and then at close to 12(pm) I saw them punching and getting into each other," she said. "We saw some men storming off after that."

The South Gladstone man who lived in the home handed himself in to police at around 10.30am yesterday and was later charged with his murder.

Det Insp Shadlow said the man had been living in the house for a short time and Mr Chapman had been there for a number of days as a visitor. "It is believed there is alcohol involved. As for drugs we don't believe so," he said.

"The men are not related but they did know each other." He couldn't say where in the house Mr Chapman was stabbed as scenes of crime staff were still trying to establish that. Another neighbour said he didn't hear the fight but was woken by the lights flashing in his window.

"All I did hear was someone screaming. It was like whoever did it just realised he was dead," he said. "They are good neighbours. Usually pretty quiet so this is all a bit out of the blue."

The 45-year-old man charged with the murder of Mr Chapman will face Gladstone Magistrates Court on Monday.

What happened

10pm Thursday: Police are called to the house but the fight is over and they leave

12am Friday: Neighbour says there is some punching but doesn't call the police

3.20am Friday: An emergency call is made after Mr Chapman is stabbed in the chest. He dies shortly after.

10.30am Friday: A 45-year-old man hands himself in to police.

3.22pm Friday: The 45-year-old is charged with Mr Chapman's murder.

Topics:  crime gladstone gladstone magistrates court murder



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