'I didn't know I stabbed him,' murder accused tells court
ACCUSED of murder, Luke Turnbull choked back tears while giving evidence in his Supreme Court trial today, saying he hadn't known he stabbed his mate Landon Delinecort.
Turnbull said he only learned of Delinecort's death the morning after being involved in a fight with him.
Amid tears, Turnbull told jurors: "I was devastated."
Turnbull, 37, took to the witness stand soon after the jury were shown photographs of two stab wounds to the body of Landon, a Bundaberg amateur boxer.
The fatal chest wound was to his heart, the other wound beneath his left armpit. The evidence was clearly painful for some of the Delinecort family attending in the courtroom.
Turnbull, charged with Landon's murder, told the court he had no idea that he stabbed him.
Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings, he denied arriving at the Delinecort's family home on Cummins Rd with a knife, or expecting a fight.
Instead, Turnbull said the knife had been an object wrapped in a tea towel that he saw Landon's father, Calvin, holding during the confrontation at the front of the house on November 27, 2015.
Turnbull has pleaded not guilty to three charges: the murder of Landon Delinecort, 24; causing grievous bodily harm to Calvin Delinecort; and assaulting Landon's older brother Brock Delinecort.
Defence counsel Saul Holt QC told the jury that while Turnbull did not have to give evidence he would in his own words give his side of the story - "the missing piece of the puzzle".
Turnbull, a father of five sons to three women, spoke briefly about unsuccessfully trying out to play rugby for the Melbourne Storm, receiving $300,000 in a payout from the Bundaberg Hospital, and spent a lot of it on drugs and gambling.
He had become friendly with Calvin after meeting and sharing a beer with him at a gravesite where Calvin's brother, a grave digger, was working.
He had known Calvin's son Brock for 20 years and became mate's with Landon through boxing, the boxer a mentor to his oldest son.
Waving his privilege to not incriminate himself, Turnbull told jurors he would buy ice from Calvin and Brock Delinecort and probably spent "over 50 grand".
At the time of Landon's death, Turnbull said he owed Brock $80 and Calvin $100 for ice, would buy drugs on tick (credit), and spoke to Brock on Facebook using a code for the drugs.
Questioned about that fatal day, Turnbull said he had received a phone call from an angry Calvin about money he owed, saying "I want my f---ing money c---" or he would come around with "the Moore Park crew".
He hadn't known why Calvin was kicking up a fuss as they were on good terms.
"I thought he was full of hot air," Turnbull said.
Turnbull said he arrived at the Delinecorts' house on his Harley motorbike and, over the noise of its engine, a child, who ran out to him, asked if he was ready for the big fight.
"I thought they were going to attack me," he said.
He told the court he had seen Calvin and Landon walking toward him, and Calvin was holding a tea towel he assumed was wrapped around a knife.
"I said 'You're going to get your f---ing money. I don't have any on me, I'll pay you next time'," Turnbull said.
He said Landon was hopping side to side as if he was in a cage ready to fight then Calvin came at him.
"I punched him in the face pretty hard - Calvin fell down on his back."
Turnbull said Landon was coming straight at him and he tackled him and "drove (Landon) into the bitumen".
"I was getting smashed in the back of my head, massive blows to my head," he said.
"I could hear people say 'F--- him up, get him'. I came across what Calvin dropped on the ground."
"The item in the tea towel?" Mr Holt asked.
"Yes. I got to my feet. I ran away," Turnbull answered.
Turnbull said he saw Brock coming at him with a mattock handle saying he would kill him, then hit him in the leg with it.
"I unravelled the tea towel. A knife was there. I tried to keep Brock away from me," he said.
Turnbull said Brock kept on coming and pushing him sideways, as Landon also came closer.
"I realised he had a knife in his hand doing the same motion I was doing'.
"Landon had a knife?" Mr Holt queried.
"Yes," Turnbull replied.
"I was very scared trying to keep them away from me.
"I had a clear run at my bike. I jumped on my bike. I still had a knife in my hand."
Turnbull said it happened fast and was "very chaotic".
"When did you realise you had stabbed Landon?" Mr Holt asked.
"No, I didn't. The next day," he said.
"Did you take a knife?" Mr Holt continued.
"No, I didn't," he said.
Turnbull said he dropped the knife down the road while riding away.
The trial, before Justice Peter Applegarth, continues today.