Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Ashburton work and income shooting trial adjourned

Russell John Tully in the High Court. POOL PHOTO
Russell John Tully in the High Court. POOL PHOTO

The Ashburton Work and Income shooting double-murder trial has been adjourned until tomorrow after a day of behind-closed-doors legal discussions.

Russell John Tully, 49, denies being the balaclava-clad gunman who shot and killed two Winz workers, shot and injured a third, and shot at and missed a fourth employee on September 1, 2014.

Identification of the shooter is key to the trial, the High Court double-murder trial in Christchurch has heard.

The Crown says evidence that the shooter is Tully is "overwhelming", claiming that he wanted to murder all of the Winz workers after becoming so frustrated with "perceived injustices" over his dealings with them.

After 73 witnesses, the Crown concluded its case on Friday.

Today has been spent covering legal discussions which cannot be reported due to legal reasons.

At 3pm today, Justice Cameron Mander apologised to the jury for a "frustrating day" and said the trial is adjourned until 10am tomorrow.

The judge said "we are reaching a very critical stage of the trial", adding that he was "anxious to avoid any misstep".

The trial continues tomorrow at 10am, likely with the Crown's closing address, followed by the defence closing address, and then the judge's summing up of the case to the jury.

The jury will then retire to begin its deliberations.

Tully has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ashburton Winz receptionist Peggy Noble, 67, and case manager Susan Leigh Cleveland, 55, inside the Winz office on September 1, 2014.

He also denies attempting to murder two fellow workers Lindy Curtis and Kim Elizabeth Adams and other charges that include two counts of unlawful possession of firearms, and one of setting a man trap.

- NZ Herald

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