Christine Lundy died in her bed after being repeatedly struck with an instrument, probably a tomahawk, the Palmerston North District Court heard today.
The depositions hearing for Mark Edward Lundy, accused of murdering his wife Christine and daughter Amber in Palmerston North last August, opened this morning before two justices of the peace.
Amber died in the doorway of her parents' bedroom, and police said the position of her body suggested she saw what was happening and tried to escape, the court was told.
Crown Prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk said a window had been forced but it could only have happened after the killings because of blood found on it.
He said forensic evidence will show the weapon came from Lundy's shed, because paint found in the victims' hair was the same as that used to mark the Lundys' tools.
The hearing is expected to take four to five days.