The man accused of murdering an alleged home intruder near Katherine earlier this year, will likely plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, a court has heard.
- Kim Kellett, 38, will likely plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter
- Prosecutors have withdrawn the earlier murder charge
- Mr Kellett is accused of shooting dead an alleged home intruder in March
Kim Kellett has been in prison sincely alleged shooting a 26-year-old man on his property at the Cutta Cutta Caves National Park in March.
The 38-year-old appeared in the Darwin Local Court on Wednesday via video link from the local correctional centre, dressed in a red prison-issued T-shirt which usually indicates the inmate is held under maximum security conditions.
Senior Crown Prosecutor, Marty Aust, told the court the original murder charge would be withdrawn and replaced with the lesser charge of manslaughter.
“The Crown will be relying on a reckless manslaughter charge,” he said.
“The facts that make out that charge have been reduced to writing and there is agreement between the parties as to the facts in full, for plea in the Supreme Court.”
A set of agreed facts was given to the judge, but not read in open court.
Mr Kellett’s lawyer, Peter Maley, told the court his client would likely plead guilty when the matter reached the Supreme Court next month.
“It will be ultimately a plea of guilty to an amended count two, for recklessly causing the death,” he said.
Despite indicating a guilty plea, the charge Mr Kellett faces is too serious to be dealt with by the Local Court.
“I am satisfied the evidence is sufficient to put the defendant on his trial in respect of count two [manslaughter],” Judge John Neill said.
“I direct he be tried at the Supreme Court in Darwin.”
Manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Mr Kellett’s case will be mentioned in the Northern Territory Supreme Court on September 1.