A Hamilton man charged with the murder of an Australian tourist will face trial next year after pleading not guilty. The 23-year-old was also granted continued name suppression when he appeared via audio visual link in the High Court at Hamilton this morning.
His lawyer, Sheila Cameron, successfully applied for the suppression extension citing her client's fragile mental health state.
The man is charged with the murder of Sean McKinnon, 33, who was allegedly shot in the campervan he was sharing with partner Bianca Buckley while parked in the Te Toto Gorge in August.
Members of McKinnon's family were in court for the appearance and to hear the not guilty plea entered.
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The man also denies charges of robbery causing grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, and driving while disqualified.
A trial date for three weeks was also set down for November 16, next year.
Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster said they had no issue with the continued suppression but depending on the result of a follow-up S38 psychiatric report, they could oppose it continuing.
Cameron said that her client's recovery from his psychosis was only recent and he still needed monitoring.
Justice Paul Davison entered the pleas and remanded the man in custody until a callover in March.