Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Lance Murphy murder: trial pushed to next year

One of the last images of Lance John Murphy, captured before he was allegedly murdered north of Auckland. He was last seen at a BP station. Photo / Supplied
One of the last images of Lance John Murphy, captured before he was allegedly murdered north of Auckland. He was last seen at a BP station. Photo / Supplied

Two men accused of murdering Waiuku man Lance John Murphy will now stand trial in February, three months later than originally scheduled.

Murphy's body was found in a field in Wellsford on December 14 last year, almost a week after he went missing.

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Body found dumped in field

Steve Brent Gunbie and Michael Joseph Davies, also known as Waipouri, were charged with murdering the 56-year-old.

Gunbie is also facing charges of kidnapping Murphy.

Both he and Davies have pleaded not guilty and were scheduled to go on trial this month.

However the original date was vacated and Justice Anne Hinton set a new trial date in February.

The trial is expected to run for three weeks.

In early December police made a public appeal for information about Murphy who had last been seen at the BP service station in Warkworth on November 21.

Five days later they found his car at a property just 2 kilometres away.

Murphy's blood was found in the car and a manhunt was launched for Gunbie for his alleged role in the crime.

- NZ Herald

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