The murder case against police constable Zachary Rolfe has been held over to the end of June after the prosecution requested more time to prepare further evidence and seek “expert opinion”.
Mr Rolfe is facing murder charges over the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanji Walker in Yuendumu last November. He has stated he intends to plead not guilty.
The Alice Springs Court heard the brief of evidence against Mr Rolfe was substantial, including 161 statements and “multiple body video footage”, but that the prosecution was still waiting on “further medical and forensic material from various experts”.
The court also heard that the prosecution’s material was only sent to Mr Rolfe’s defence team on March 30.
Judge John Burch questioned why it was taking so long for the prosecution to finalise their evidence.
“Well, your Honour, I can only go by what the police tell me,” said Collette Dixon for the DPP, according to transcripts provided. “I would expect perhaps with the hospital, the information I’ve been given just generally from the hospital, a lot of reports are on the back-burner because of COVID-19.”
Other evidence from experts including a biomechanic, a video enhancement specialist, firearms expert, a toxicologist and a “clothing examiner” was still outstanding, Ms Dixon said.
Defence counsel David Edwardson QC said his team had only received a jump drive with the evidence already collected and would need more time to review the material.
“We know that there is certainly a great deal of further material, as has just been identified,” he said.
“In my view, what I’ve been told, and I’m only as good as what I’ve been told, 10 weeks is probably optimistic.”
Judge Birch granted the adjournment until June 25 when the matter will be back in court for a mention.