Alex Fisher's older brother is back in court today, charged with murdering the 10-year-old, a prosecution that could hinge on mental health assessments.

Eric Baden McIsaac, 25, appeared in the High Court at Palmerston North this morning as his family looked on from the public gallery.

McIsaac looked to them several times.

His lawyer, Letizea Ord, and Justice Simon France, beaming in via AVL from Wellington, discussed the next steps in the court process, under mental health legislation.

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The judge said parties would now assess McIsaac's fitness to stand trial.

Alex's body was found on Waitarere Beach, near Levin, on October 8 after his disappearance sparked a huge manhunt.

During the search, police released CCTV footage showing Alex and McIsaac together in a local store on October 5.

Court documents show Alex was allegedly murdered by McIsaac either that night or the next day.

McIsaac is also charged with unlawful possession of a knife in a public place and burglary.
The burglary charge alleges McIsaac unlawfully entered a property on Park Ave, Waitarere Beach, between late September and early October.

He is yet to enter pleas to any of those or a fourth charge, which is suppressed.

McIsaac was ordered to stay in custody until late April.