19 Nov 2009

Crown begins rebuttal in Pike murder case

8:26 pm on 19 November 2009

The Crown has begun calling rebuttal evidence in a bid to refute an alibi provided for a man accused of killing a young Palmerston North drug dealer.

Stephen Hudson, 39, is before the High Court at Wellington charged with murdering Nicholas Pike near the Desert Road, in the central North Island, in March 2002.

The Crown says the defendant killed Nicholas Pike over a drug debt, but the defence says Mr Hudson was with members of his family in Masterton.

The killing is said to have occurred on 18 March 2002, but family members say they remember Stephen Hudson arriving in Masterton on 15 March, the day after a family friend gave birth.

Mr Hudson's birth mother, Christina Billings, says she also remembers that date because she was in a period of trial employment at an egg farm.

However, the Crown is calling evidence it says will show that employment didn't start until 18 March.