NAPIER - A Hastings man accused of deliberately running down a woman jogger broke down when questioned and said he had killed a woman and her body was in his car boot, a Napier jury heard yesterday.
Dartelle Maremare James Alder, aged 23, admitted on Monday that he abducted, raped, sexually violated and murdered Margaret Lynne Baxter, of Wellington, after hitting her with his car on Stock Rd, near Flaxmere, on January 21.
He denies assaulting Ms Baxter, 38, by using his vehicle as a weapon, deliberately knocking her down while she was on a Sunday morning run.
His trial in the High Court at Napier before Justice Warwick Gendall and a jury of six men and six women is expected to finish tomorrow.
Detective Kris Eckhold told the jury she spoke to Alder at his home.
When she said to him that "something terrible had happened", Alder broke down and said he had killed a woman and that her body was in the boot of his car.
In a later video interview played to the jury, Alder told the detective he hit Ms Baxter after he swerved because a stone or bird had shattered his windscreen and he could not see.
When he swerved left he heard a thump.
He stopped and got out of his car to find a badly injured Ms Baxter covered in blood and "gurgling" in the ditch.
Alder said he put her on the floor of the back of his car and drove to a house about 1km away where he knocked on doors and windows trying to get help.
He was about to break in and telephone for an ambulance but saw the house had a burglar alarm.
He said he moved Ms Baxter to the boot of his car and drove to his home.
He had planned to go to the nearest house but panicked because of the "awful" sounds she was making.
Alder said he "just freaked out" when he hit Ms Baxter and was worried that he might still be over the blood-alcohol limit from his drinking on the previous night.
It crossed his mind to take her to hospital, but he panicked and drove to the house instead.
A woman whose name was suppressed said in evidence read to the jury that she was driving south along Stock Rd when she saw what she thought was a body being loaded into a black car parked facing Flaxmere.
The car's windscreen was shattered.
She told the driver and another adult in the car, so they did a u-turn and drove back north along Stock Rd.
When she saw the car coming out of a side road towards them, she made a mental note of its registration number.
She saw a grey running shoe on the side of Stock Rd and thought the driver of the car must have left it.
They then went on to their destination in southern Hawkes Bay.
When they returned that afternoon, Stock Rd was cordoned off, so she told police officers what she had seen.