Kevin Hanley. Photo: Facebook
Kevin Hanley. Photo: Facebook

Murder accused 'didn't go there to kill anyone'

KEVIN Patrick Hanley told a Supreme Court jury he "didn't go there to kill anyone" the night Matthew Morcus was shot at a home near Millmerran two years ago.

Giving evidence on day four of the trial, the court heard from Hanley under the questioning of Crown prosecutor Mark Green.

When asked whether he used a .22 calibre rifle found by police to shoot the 46-year-old, Hanley replied "I didn't shoot Matthew Morcus."

That evidence came after the court heard from Hanley that he attended the Cypress Gardens address "with the gun in the safety position" when he saw Mr Morcus arguing with his partner after an earlier altercation between him and the deceased.

Rachel Binns leaves the courthouse after giving evidence in Kevin Hanley's murder trial.
The deceased's partner Rachel Binns leaves court after giving evidence this week. Anton Rose

"I was actually thinking he was going to attack me," he said.

"He had a bottle in his hand and a look on his face.

"I knew if I stood there and saw something happening I would have dropped the rifle and grabbed Matthew."

Hanley denied prosecutor Green's suggestion to him that he was a liar.

When asked at what point he decided to shoot Mr Morcus, the 71-year-old said the deceased had touched the rifle, causing it to land on the ground.

Kevin Hanley leaves court on day one of his murder trial: Accused in 2016 Millmerran shooting fronts court at the start of his trial.
Kevin Hanley leaves court on day one of his murder trial: Accused in 2016 Millmerran shooting fronts court at the start of his trial.

"When these things happen you don't know what you're thinking, do you?" Hanley said.

"It was so quick I don't know what happened."

The court also heard closing arguments from both sides, with defence barrister Michael Copley telling jurors Hanley had seconds to react.

"He came to the door intending to protect Rachel and brought the firearm because he was concerned he would be blown away himself," Hanley's lawyer Michael Copley said.

"Things happened and it became a case where he had to protect himself.

"He did not present the weapon and threaten to shoot, he thought in the seconds he had available to him to think that something dreadful is going to happen here.

Historic photo of Matthew David Morcus in 2009. Morcus was shot dead in Millmerran 13 October 2016
Historic photo of Matthew David Morcus in 2009. Morcus was shot dead in Millmerran 13 October 2016 Toowoomba Chronicle

"In the moments available to him he had to make a split-second decision."

Crown Prosecutor Mark Green told the jury the only way the firearm would discharge would be after 1.3kg of force was applied.

"You do know the accused man is a murderer," he said.

INVESTIGATION: Scenes of Crime officers examine a vehicle inside which Kevin Patrick Hanley, 69, was found outside an Ayers Rock Rd home at Millmerran Thursday night. He was later charged with murder.MUST CREDIT 7 NEWS TOOWOOMBA IF USING
Scenes of crime officers examine a car in relation to the death of Matthew Morcus. 7 Local News Toowoomba

"He killed Matthew Morcus by shooting him and intended to shoot him.

"Five people heard Morcus say 'I love that man' (and not threats to kill Hanley)."

Justice Martin Burns is expected to begin his summing up of the case on Monday, after which, a jury of seven women and five men will retire to deliberate on a verdict for the 71-year-old on the charge of murder or the alternative manslaughter charge.