A Tauranga man has denied an allegation that he provided assistance to a Gate Pa man accused of murdering 58-year-old Lance Wayne Waite.
Casino Heta Williams, 51, from Ōtūmoetai, pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Waite when he appeared in the Tauranga High Court today by an audio-visual link from prison,
Waite was shot at commercial premises in Wilrose Pl on January 3 this year and died soon after in Tauranga Hospital.
Police have alleged Williams was a party to the killing after the fact by assisting Gate Pa man Colin Jeffries-Smith, who is the person accused of murdering Waite.
The accessory charge relates to Williams allegedly providing Jeffries-Smith with a new SIM card, discarding his clothes and guiding him about what to say to police.
Williams has also denied a further charge of the unlawful possession of a .22 Ruger semi-automatic rifle.
The offences were alleged to have been committed between January 1 and 5 this year.
Jeffries-Smith has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and he is set to defend the allegation at a jury trial in the Rotorua High Court set to begin on May 6 next year.
The Crown has also charged Jeffries-Smith with seven methamphetamine and cannabis offences, which he has not yet entered pleas to.
Justice Sarah Katz further remanded Williams in custody to next appear in the Tauranga High Court on December 5 for a case review hearing, ahead of his jury trial in May 2019.
Jeffries-Smith matters were earlier adjourned to the same case reviewing hearing, when he will be expected to enter pleas to his drug charges.