Name suppression lifted for murder-accused teen

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ON SCENE: Police investigating the death of Mark Beale in Haumoana last month. PHOTO FILE
ON SCENE: Police investigating the death of Mark Beale in Haumoana last month. PHOTO FILE

The 19-year-old male charged over the death of Hawke's Bay man Mark Geoffrey Beale can be named.

Interim name suppression was revoked for Johnnie Puna, who appeared by audio visual link before Justice Simon France at High Court in Wellington this morning.

Represented by Eric Forster, Puna entered no plea to a charge of murder.

Family members of Beale sat quietly in the gallery. Puna's mother appeared during the appearance and yelled "I love you son!" before Puna disappeared from the screen at the end of the hearing.

Police found Beale left for dead on a beach at Haumoana on Waitangi Day. He had been assaulted overnight.

The Haumoana resident was rushed to Hawke's Bay Hospital but died of his injuries the following day.

Over several weeks more than 35 police pieced together the events of the night of February 5.

Police arrested Puna on February 24.

Justice France said a plea would be deferred before a case review hearing on May 22, when the evidence would be much clearer.

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