A Hamilton man has had a charge upgraded to murder after an alleged fatal assault on a mother of eight in her home.

Rueben Paul Peeni kept his head down during his appearance via audio visual link in the Hamilton District Court today after the death of Hamilton woman Crystal-Lee Selwyn.

Peeni, 36, listed as a packer on court documents, was originally charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Selwyn after he was arrested on November 26.

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However, crown prosecutor Rebecca Guthrie confirmed a new charge of murder, alleged to have occurred between November 23 and 26, had been laid and the wounding charge could be withdrawn.

Peeni's lawyer Annemarie Beveridge said her client wouldn't entering a plea today, and instead could remain in custody until his appearance in the High Court at Hamilton later this month.

Several of Peeni's family members were also in court but remained quiet throughout proceedings.

Selwyn's family last week set up a givealittle page for Selwyn's children which has since reached $11,000.