WARNING: Disturbing content:

A Napier man was told to dig his own grave before he was murdered.

The horrific details of Alex Latimer's murder can now be revealed after James Taylor Martin Webby pleaded guilty to a charge or murder, as well as two charges of aggravated robbery, one charge of arson and one charge of perverting the course of justice.

Webby appeared in the High Court in Napier on Tuesday afternoon in front of Justice Robert Dobson.


His co-offender, David James Lothian , earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of murder, two of aggravated robbery, one of arson, and one charge of reckless driving.

The summary of facts for the case details how the offenders lured Latimer to an address in Te Haroto, off the Napier-Taupo road, before telling him to dig his own grave.

Latimer was known to the co-offenders, through their involvement with Hawke's Bay's drug world.

Prior to January 23 2017, Latimer had been involved in drug transaction with Lothian, and believed Lothian owed him money.

On January 23, 2017, Latimer arrived at a Maraenui address, where Webby and a witness were. Lothian arrived shortly after.

James Webby appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon. Photo / Paul Taylor
James Webby appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon. Photo / Paul Taylor

The offenders attacked Latimer, and took a bag containing drugs and money from him.

By September, 2018 Latimer was no longer in contact with either Lothian or Webby.

On September 29, 2018, an associate of Lothian, and acquaintance of Latimer, visited Lothian's house in Te Haroto.

Webby, Lothian and the associate drank bourbon and smoked cannabis together, and Latimer's name was bought up.


Following a conversation between the three men the associate texted Latimer, asking him to bring drugs to the address.

The plan was to "roll" him for drugs and/or cash.

David Lothian pleaded guilty to Latimer's murder on Tuesday. Photo / Paul Taylor
David Lothian pleaded guilty to Latimer's murder on Tuesday. Photo / Paul Taylor

Latimer was not informed either Lothian or Webby were at the address.

Latimer arrived at the Te Haroto address in the early hours of September 30 2018. Lothian was waiting in a shed on the property, and Webby in a car.

Upon his arrival, Latimer was greeted by the associate, who told him he was going inside for a cigarette, at which point the defendants started punching the victim.

He was beaten around the head, and then dragged to the rear of the property, and was hit with a shovel while being dragged.

Once at the back of the property, Lothian instructed Webby to hit Latimer with the shovel. Webby hit Latimer on the head, causing him to go quiet.

The shovel was then thrown at Latimer and he was told to dig his own grave.

The defendants then dug a grave for the victim, who was in it as it was dug.

Lothian then stabbed him multiple times in the back and the side, telling him he was going to die, before stabbing him once in the throat.

The offenders then covered him in dirt in an effort to bury him.

He was then moved to a second grave, about 10 metres away, just outside the property boundary.

They removed Latimer's clothing and dragged him to the second grave.

Latimer's body was discovered following an extensive search of the Te Haroto property on October 6.

A post-mortem confirmed Latimer died of stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the face and chest.

Lothian and Webby have been remanded in custody for sentencing, which is set down for November 11.