Two men have today pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Napier man Alex Latimer eight weeks ago.
The pleas were entered by 24-year-old James Taylor Martin Webby, of Napier, and another man who has interim name suppression, when they appeared in a brief sitting of the High Court in Napier.
Both were remanded in continued custody. One has been remanded to appear again on December 14 for consideration of a possible application for further name suppression, and both are expected to appear at a case review hearing in February.
But Justice Robert Dobson, sitting in Wellington, indicated a trial won't be held until September next year.
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Latimer's body was found by police on October 5, during a search of a property alongside the Napier-Taupo road (State Highway 5).
He had been missing about a week and after the discovery during several days at the of the property near Te Haroto the men were charged with murdering Latimer on September 30.
The accused whose name is suppressed also pleaded not guilty to charges of driving reckless and failing to stop for police on October 4.
About 10 members of the dead man's family were in court during today's appearance, where the Crown prosecutor was Steve Manning.
Webby is represented by Roger Philip and the second accused by Eric Forster.