Two men charged in relation to the murder of Upper Hutt woman Lois Tolley may be named tomorrow morning.

The two 27-year-olds appeared in the High Court at Wellington this morning, where Justice Simon France heard arguments over whether interim name suppression should continue.

One of the men was charged with Tolley's murder in September, nearly three years after her death.

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Tolley was the victim of an execution-style killing in December 2016 after four people smashed their way into her home, police said.

The accused also faces charges of assaulting with intent to rob, while armed with a shotgun, and a charge of entering Tolley's Ward St flat while armed with intent to commit an imprisonable offence.

At an earlier appearance in October, Tolley's loved ones packed the public gallery, wearing T-shirts with her photo printed on them.

Outside the court after that appearance, a family spokesman read out a statement.

"To everyone who is withholding information, we implore you to think about if this was your daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunty, cousin - what would you want?"

Tolley's loved ones again packed the public gallery of the courtroom this morning.

The first to appear was a man charged with aggravated burglary and two charges of assault with intent to rob. He was arrested in December in Auckland, the second arrest in Tolley's case.

He pleaded not guilty and was remanded on bail to a case review date in August, with interim name suppression.


Tolley's loved ones watched as he walked out of the courtroom, escorted by a police officer.

The murder accused was second to appear. He earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was remanded in custody to the same date in August.

His lawyer argued name suppression should continue, saying if his identity was released further witnesses might come forward, leading to issues over whether that evidence would be admissible or if it would prejudice his fair trial rights.

As the murder accused was led from the courtroom an argument broke out between his loved ones and Tolley's family, with heated comments and slurs thrown between the two groups.

Justice France reserved his decision on name suppression and said he would likely release the decision tomorrow morning.

He also set the trial date for May 2021, saying an earlier date simply wasn't possible.

Police actively pursuing suspects

With an arrest made, Inspector Scott Miller earlier said police would be going back to people already spoken to by the investigation team.

Detectives would continue to "actively pursue other suspects".

Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Barnett, the officer in charge of the investigation, said his team had been working continuously since Tolley's death nearly three years ago and there had been some planning go into the arrest.

Police have previously said they believed at least four people were involved in the homicide and were captured on CCTV camera fleeing the crime scene.

As the attackers escaped, one of them was heard swearing and yelling, "Oh my God, what have we done?"

A neighbour in the block of flats next to Tolley's found her body. She had heard Tolley screaming.

A year after Tolley's death, police had said they had narrowed the suspect list to 12.

They were either directly involved in committing the murder, helped plan the attack on Tolley, or assisted the killers after the murder.

The police investigation team had worked through more than 130 people of interest at that stage.

Tolley's mother previously told the Herald she had no doubt her daughter's killers would be caught.

She described her daughter as a beautiful, caring person who was "very much loved by so many".

"We miss Lois so much, this has devastated our family and her friends, they stole her future from her and all of us."