The unnamed defendant in the Red Fox Tavern murder trial told police he knew they would turn him over and he had thrown a sawn-off shotgun he had in the sea because he "freaked out".
The man with name suppression and Mark Joseph Hoggart are on trial for the October 24, 1987 aggravated robbery of the tavern and murder of its owner, Christopher Bush, in Waikato.
The Crown says two heavily disguised intruders, clad in balaclavas and gloves, burst in through a back door of the Maramarua tavern.
It is alleged one fired a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun, killing Bush before his three staff members were tied up and just over $36,000 was stolen.
Both accused deny the charges.
Detective Sergeant James White interviewed the unnamed defendant in Napier in January 1988 and read aloud a transcript of those conversations to the jury today.
They had started discussing the man's family and background, before he was asked about his associates - in particular ones he had spent time in prison with.
"What about your old mate Charlie Ross?"
The man agreed he would hang out with Ross and Hoggart in the Napier area.
White then asked if he had been hanging out with Hoggart in October.
"I can't remember what I did last week, let alone back then," the man replied.
He agreed he had visited Hoggart in Hamilton but could not recall how long he stayed before hitchiking to Tauranga where he stayed in a motel on the "main drag".
He said he thought he arrived in Tauranga on the Friday of Labour weekend before starting the trek home the next day.
"So you got home first thing Sunday morning?"
The defendant agreed he had before he went to something of a family reunion.
After a half-hour break, the detective resumed questioning.
"I need to know your exact movements over the week prior to Labour weekend."
"Why man, get to the point," the defendant replied.
After another break, the man said he might have been in Cambridge that weekend visiting an old girlfriend.
Later, when asked for the specific timing of his whereabouts over that Labour Weekend he said he wanted to speak to his family.
"I'm not the offender for this Red Fox Tavern, no way."
White said if that was the case the man would have no problem with his alibi being checked.
"I just don't trust cops."
He was also asked about the sawn-off shotgun he had used in a Napier vineyard the week that Bush died.
"We were just going to use that as a bird gun, it got a wide spread. You can get bigger flocks," he said.
"Well, if it's so good, why did you get rid of it?" White asked.
"I just freaked out."
He said he had thrown the shotgun into the sea before going to talk to Ross about how "the cops would be probably turning us over" because the Red Fox job was like the aggravated robbery the pair had committed earlier in Auckland.
Later, White noted "a lot of strange occurrences": the unnamed accused had possession of a shotgun five days before the robbery, was in the area and could not "account for the vital 24-hour period".
"So I have to start thinking whether you were involved."
No, replied the man, insisting he had explained some of his movements on October 24.
"Did you do the Red Fox that night?"
The man laughed and shook his head.
In another interview, he maintained his denial to police.
"F**k, no man. You guys know I have done an armo in the past. It's a pretty high-profile homicide. You guys have got to get a result [and] because I can't give you my movements, I'm it."
'I'm the wrong man'
Hoggart was interviewed, also in January 1988, in a Hamilton police station by detective Colin Scarlett.
"I asked one of yous what this is all about and he said a murder," Hoggart had said.
"It kind of scares me a bit."
"Well, where were you at Labour Weekend?"
Hoggart said he could not "rightly remember" but he did not go away.
"It is going to be very important that you remember what you did that weekend and who you were with," Scarlett said.
"Every day is the same around here," Hoggart replied.
Scarlett asked if Hoggart knew where Maramarua was and he responded no.
"What I can't understand is why you are talking to me?"
Later he again said: "I don't know why you're telling me all this because I'm the wrong man. I had nothing to do with it."
The trial continues in the High Court at Auckland tomorrow.