Court learns how a single smiling photo led to the murder of a man and woman locked in a toolbox and dropped in a creek – revealing chilling details of their final moments
- Four alleged killers pleaded not guilty to drowning drug dealers in toolbox
- Few found in lagoon south of Brisbane were victims of ‘barbaric’ alleged murders
- They were tied up with tape, put in a box and tried to escape “desperately,” the court said
- Three of the alleged killers accused of torturing the couple who begged for their lives
Two drug dealers begged for their lives and tried desperately to escape from a locked toolbox before it was submerged in a lagoon, a Queensland court has heard.
Four men pleaded not guilty to the “ breathtakingly vile ” murders on Tuesday on the opening day of their Supreme Court trial.
Stou Daniels, Davy Malu Junior Taiao, Trent Michael Thrupp and Waylon Ngaketo Cowan Walker denied the murders of Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru south of Brisbane on January 24, 2016,
Daniels, Taiao and Thrupp are also accused of torturing the couple.
Two drug dealers begged for their lives and tried to escape from a locked toolbox (photo)
Iuliana Triscaru (left) and Cory Breton (right) died in a ‘barbaric’ and ‘vile’ murder near Brisbane
Thrupp pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr. Breton and Mrs. Triscaru, but the Crown rejected the plea.
Prosecutor David Meredith said all involved were drug traffickers and users.
The court was told the motive came from a photo of smiling Daniels captured on CCTV on January 22 – two days before the murders.
The owner of a supermarket owner who sold burner phones and bought drugs from Mr. Breton asked him where he got his drugs from and was told he was “islanders.”
The owner then sent the camera image of Daniels to Mr. Breton asking if “he was.”
Mr. Breton replied, “Yes, he is.”
Daniels became wary when he talked about the photo and was convinced he was being trapped, the court was told.
“The prosecution says the motive for all of this was that Daniels was suspicious of Cory Breton,” said Mr. Meredith.
Police are investigating where the bodies were found in Kingston, south of Brisbane
The victims were lured to a Kingston unit, tortured, assaulted and tied up with masking tape and zip ties before putting them in the toolbox, prosecutor David Meredith told the jury in his opening.
The box was placed on the back of a ute and dumped in the Scrubby Creek Lagoon, south of Brisbane.
More than two weeks later, on Feb. 11, police divers found the bodies in the box – weighted down by concrete blocks and tires.
The bodies had broken down so badly that doctors could not determine a cause of death, only that the couple could have died of suffocation or drowning.
“The evidence appears to be that they were still alive when they were placed in Scrubby Creek,” prosecutor David Meredith said.
“Witnesses said they were still yelling and kicking at the toolbox when they left the apartment complex.”
Green Toyota Hilux police (pictured) believe he was involved in the murder
Mr. Breton (pictured) was found in a tool box
Toll cameras captured footage of the utility with the toolbox tied to the bin on the Logan Highway just before 8:50 pm before the toolbox was dumped in the lagoon.
If these things are true, this murder is extremely barbaric.
These people were put in a toolbox and held there for several hours – of course for fear of what might happen to them.
“They were taken to a creek and drowned … it’s breathtakingly bad.”
Attorneys for the defendants urged the jury to be open, saying key witnesses in the crown case had mental health problems with a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
The trial will continue and will last four weeks.