Police last night arrested a man for the murder of Feilding farmer Scott Guy, who was shot dead at close range on his driveway nine months ago today.
Mr Guy's wife, Kylee, who is now living in Hawke's Bay, where other family live, was pregnant and inside the house sleeping when he was killed. She gave birth to son Drover in September. Their elder son, Hunter, is 2.
A 30-year-old was to appear in the Palmerston North District Court this afternoon.
As well as the murder charge, he faced charges of arson and criminal damage relating to incidents at Mr Guy's property in October 2008 and January 2009.
A second man, a 21-year-old also from Feilding, has appeared in the Queenstown District Court on arson and criminal damage charges. He is not charged with murder.
Police said the 30-year-old was arrested in Feilding and no one else was being sought for the killing or vandalism.
Mr Guy was shot in the throat early on July 8 last year.
Mr Guy's father, Bryan, said the family knew the man charged with murder.
He told TVNZ this morning the man's identity was a surprise. "Becase we do know them, there's disbelief really."
Kylee's sister, Chanelle Bullock, said last night the family was in shock over the arrests.
"The family's all together and we're dealing with this together, all us girls and mum and dad," she said.
"We don't know how we're feeling. It's weird. It's the same feeling as when Scott died - it's the same thing, the same feeling. It hasn't sunk in, so I can't say we're relieved because we don't know."
Ms Bullock said the police called the family yesterday to tell them they had made the arrests. "It's quite full-on for us and an intense time for our family. We just need to organise our lives and sort out our feelings."
Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie said the arrests had been unexpected.
"It's almost surprising because you sort of live with these things and you almost think if they [police] will ever get anyone," he said. "It happened comparatively quickly. You usually get wind of something like this.
"It's even more of a surprise again because [the accused was] in our community - we were thinking that if it was local then police would have got them by now."
This year, police released images of abusive words painted on one of the houses on the Guy farm during a vandalism attack in January 2009. The phrase "F***n Bitch Slappr" was painted on an outside wall.
Police, who kept a second phrase secret, said at the time that they were unsure whether the vandalism had anything to do with the murder. They were also unclear at the time whether a 2008 blaze that destroyed the couple's home and two trailers was suspicious.