A dying man accused of murder has been denied an application for a stay of proceedings.

Brett Ashby, 50, has pleaded not guilty of murdering Grant "Granite" Adams, in December 2005 when a drug deal turned sour.

Police allege Ashby, a company director, shot Mr Adams in the upper back and head with a semi-automatic pistol before dumping his body at Wairakei, near Taupo.

Mr Adams' remains were found in June 2007 in a grave dug with a digger.

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Ashby is suffering from liver cancer and in September last year he was released on bail following an application on compassionate grounds to the High Court at Rotorua.

At that time Justice Paul Health said it was estimated Ashby would live only a few months and it was possible he would die before his trial started in March.

Yesterday in the High Court at Rotorua Ashby's lawyer, Greg King, failed to win a stay of proceedings because of his client's poor health.

Instead Ashby was further remanded on bail to reappear for trial call in Rotorua on April 2 to set a new trial date.

- NZPA