The two men accused of murdering Auckland man Shannon Baker can now be named.

Don Ekeroma, 34, and Benny Fatu, 28, appeared this morning in the High Court at Auckland for the first time.

Both men, who can now be named after their interim name suppression lapsed, pleaded not guilty to all the charges they face.

A trial was set for March next year and the duo will appear in court again in May to review the case.


Justice Simon Moore remanded both men in custody.

Ekeroma and Fatu were arrested last month after police searched two properties.

They were charged with murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

Baker was found dead inside his home on Calgary St in Sandringham, Auckland, on December 11 last year.

A family spokesperson told the Herald after Ekeroma and Fatu were charged: "The news that people have been charged has been the best news we could wish for and while the whole family is still angry that this happened we feel very relieved there has been a result."

Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe, the officer in charge of the case, said several detectives had been working tirelessly on Operation Epopeus, the codename for the investigation, for two months.

"The investigation was a complex one, and we want to thank people who have contacted us after our many appeals for information."

Pascoe said during a media briefing earlier this year that Baker was the victim of a violent death.


"Through speaking with his associates, we have discovered two earlier occasions in December where Baker's address was targeted," he said.

"The first incident occurred on Sunday, December 2, where two male offenders arrived at the property and threatened Baker, before stealing property including [his] wallet."

He added that least one of these offenders returned to Baker's house four days later, on December 6, and threatened him again.

During these earlier incidents, Pascoe said Baker's property was searched, ransacked and drawers tipped out.

However, police believe there is likely to be a link between those previous incidents and Baker's death.

Baker was last seen alive by an associate at an address not far from his house on the evening of his death.