15 Oct 2008

Man to stand trial for murder of Korean backpacker

6:14 pm on 15 October 2008

A former Nelson fisherman is to stand trial for the murder of Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim.

Shannon Brent Flewellen, 29, was committed to the High Court in Christchurch by Justices of the Peace on Wednesday after a three-day depositions hearing in Greymouth.

Mr Flewellen entered a not guilty plea.

Police allege Mr Flewellen strangled Mr Kim to death after he and two other men picked up the tourist as he was thumbing a ride in 2003.

On Tuesday, a 31-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Kim at Charleston, near Westport, in September or October 2003.

He was committed for sentence at the High Court in Wellington in December.

On Monday, another man admitted there is a prima facie case against him, but the charge and other details against him have been suppressed.

Police locate body

Police believe they have located Mr Kim's body on the West Coast. He was last seen in 2003.

The announcement was made during the depositions hearing at Greymouth District Court regarding Mr Kim's murder.

Detective Inspector John Winter says police hope to recover Mr Kim's body in the Four Mile River area, south of Westport, on Thursday.

Police say Mr Kim's parents have been told about the discovery of a gravesite via the Korean consulate.