Murder accused 'fascinated with skulls and bones'

Danielle Kerr, 37, at Bendigo Magistrates Court.

Danielle Kerr, 37, at Bendigo Magistrates Court.

A MAN and woman accused of murdering William Stevenson took bloodstained clothes to a friend’s house to be washed four days after he failed to turn up to work, a court has heard.

Danielle Kerr, 37, appeared at Bendigo Magistrates Court for the second day of a committal hearing where she faced a charge of murder and being an accessory to murder.

Co-accused Darren Lewis, 47, faces one charge of murder but did not appear in court for medical reasons.

The remains of Kerang man Mr Stevenson, 47, were found in the boot of a burnt-out vehicle in Wellsford Forest on January 2. 

Donna Hudson, of Pyramid Hill, said both Kerr, who she knew through her ex-partner Glenn Douglas, and Lewis were at her house on New Year’s Eve.

Ms Hudson said the pair took clothing to be washed, which she and Kerr had hung out together on her clothesline on January 1.

After seeing reports about Kerr and Lewis’ arrests on January 2, Ms Hudson checked the clothing and discovered what she thought looked like “big blood stains” on the pants.

Three witnesses, including Ms Hudson’s former partner Mr Douglas and a friend and former partner of Mr Stevenson, Donna Stewart, gave testimony about events on Christmas Day.

Ms Hudson and Mr Douglas told the court Kerr and Lewis left Ms Hudson’s Pyramid Hill house about 8.30am.

They said Kerr, who was living with Mr Stevenson at the time, and Lewis were due to pick up Mr Stevenson from his new job at Hazledene’s chicken farm at 10.30am. They were driving Mr Stevenson's car. They never arrived.

Mr Stevenson started walking towards Pyramid Hill before Ms Stewart picked him up and drove him to her home about noon.

She said she had never seen Mr Stevenson so angry and he was red in the face and shaking.

Ms Stewart believed Mr Stevenson’s anger was also because of Kerr’s involvement with Lewis.

When Kerr and Lewis arrived at Ms Stewart’s house, she watched Mr Stevenson confront the pair.

Ms Stewart said the pair stayed silent and Mr Stevenson got in the back seat and drove off.

In other evidence, Kerr's former housemate Wayne Doidge said Kerr had a fascination with skulls and bones and kept crates of bones.

Mr Doidge said Kerr was interested in cat skulls in his backyard and had on several occasions mentioned she wanted to add a human skull to her collection, which prompted him to suggest she go and "dig one up from the cemetery".

He said Kerr's obsession with skulls was the reason he kicked her out of his house.

The court also heard Kerr had a long history of drug abuse including oxycontin and methamphetamine also known as ‘ice’ and suffered depression and bipolar disorder.

The committal hearing continues tomorrow.