The teenager accused of murdering an 18-year-old at the Weston Creek skatepark told his trial he found a knife during the fight, used it to stab inside the dead man’s car and thought he hit someone.
However, the then-15-year-old still denied stabbing the 18-year-old victim when he took the stand to testify on Wednesday (25 May) after the Crown closed its case in the fourth week of his ACT Supreme Court jury trial.
Under questioning from his barrister David Barrow, he said the brawl had already started on 27 September 2020 when he found and picked up a knife about a metre in front of the driver’s side of the Toyota 86, the car the 18-year-old had driven to the scene.
He then went back to the passenger’s side of the car where two boys he was with were fighting the 18-year-old’s cousin, and because his friend “looked like he was getting bashed”, he stabbed the 16-year-old cousin in the back.
The accused saw “a little bit of flesh come off his back”. He saw movement inside the car and stabbed inside through the passenger door.
“I don’t know how many times,” he said.
He thought he hit someone “because I felt the same feeling and I dropped the knife again. I felt it hit something hard”.
After stabbing inside the Toyota, he walked back to the car he’d arrived in, spotting someone holding a machete and others running away.
He said he put the knife inside his pants because it was “a place to store it”, admitting “it wasn’t that comfy”.
While driving away, he said he pulled the knife out and told one of the boys with him, “I stabbed someone”.
He kept the knife down his pants until he went home, where he put it in a wardrobe.
“I didn’t really want my Mum and Dad seeing it,” he said.
His father woke him in the morning, still the Sunday, and told him someone had been stabbed to death at the skatepark.
“[I was] pretty shocked. I didn’t say anything. I was just kind of thinking, what happened? Was that me? Was that us?” he said.
He said he walked to a friend’s house and threw the knife down a drain on the way.
“I think it was just like panic, really. There’s been a murder,” he said of why he threw the knife away.
Two of the boys who had gone to the skatepark later took him for a drive, during which they pulled over on a street and one told him, “they know it’s you; you gotta turn yourself in”.
The group went to a house, where the accused said he was taken into a car by several others and one of the adults who had gone to the fight asked him what happened.
“I said, ‘I stabbed the guy in the back and I stabbed the guy in the car’,” the accused said.
He said the adult told him, “that’s the guy who died; that’s the guy with the machete”.
He also claimed the adult told him that the person who had been stabbed climbed out of the car with the machete and then bled to death.
The accused claimed the adult told him to turn himself in to police and to tell them the person had come at him with the machete, then he’d “freaked out” and stabbed him in self-defence.
“I said, ‘I must’ve done it’. Then he and [another person in the car] go, ‘no, not must have, you did do it'”.
Mr Barrow asked what he thought when told the person with the machete had died. The accused said he thought he killed him.
On the Monday, he said he was at a house with a large group of people where the same adult was “a lot more angry”. He said the man grabbed him by the collar, shook him and told him, “You’re going to take the rap for this”.
The accused said he was arrested while in bed on the Monday night. He said it was not until November when he got the statement of facts, which outlined information in the case, that he learned it was the driver of the Toyota 86 who had died.
He said he never went near the driver’s side of the Toyota during the fight nor had any contact with him.
The accused has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 18-year-old but guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm on the cousin.
The trial continues before Chief Justice Lucy McCallum.