13 Jan 2009

Two accused named in case of slain teacher

8:02 pm on 13 January 2009

Two of the three people charged over the killing of a retired teacher in Opotiki late last year can now be named.

The battered body of John Rowe, 78, was found lying in a pool of blood by a neighbour on 25 November.

Courtney Churchward, 17, is charged with murder. A 15-year-old girl is also charged with murder, but she cannot be identified because of her age.

Blair Mahutoto, 21, is charged with being an accessory after the fact and conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.

An application for bail subject to electronic tagging for him was to be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Both females are being held in custody until a depositions hearing in Whakatane District Court on 23 March.

A bail application for the younger girl was previously rejected by a judge at the Tauranga Youth Court because no arrangements had been made for her psychiatric care in the community.