THE man accused of murdering mother-of-two Carly McBride will likely face a four-month trial in Newcastle Supreme Court starting in April, 2019.
Sayle Kenneth Newson, 41, of Buff Point on the Central Coast, who is represented by solicitor Mark Ramsland, appeared in Sydney Supreme Court on Friday where he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to murdering 31-year-old Ms McBride, his girlfriend of about eight weeks, in September, 2014.
Mr Newson’s co-accused, James Anthony Cunneen, represented by solicitor Chris O’Brien, was also arraigned and pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact to murder.
The pair are likely to face a four-month trial in Newcastle Supreme Court beginning on April 29, 2019.
But the matter was adjourned to October 5 in Sydney Supreme Court to confirm that date and finalise who will be the trial judge.
The case against Mr Newson is purely circumstantial, with the prosecution pointing to a number of things he did before and after Ms McBride was reported missing, including injecting himself into the investigation, offering a reward that detectives say he could never have paid and bizarre or unusual comments he made to police, to say he is the man responsible for murdering Ms McBride.
Mr Cunneen, now 27, had the murder charge against him dropped in Newcastle Local Court last month.
In its place, prosecutors laid a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.
Detectives had alleged Mr Cunneen engaged in a joint criminal enterprise with Mr Newson to murder Ms McBride, but now say her former boyfriend is solely responsible for her murder while Mr Cunneen helped dump Ms McBride's body. Both men are in custody.