Murder charge over Eden Waugh shooting death droppedMichael Inman
Published: March 9 2018 - 1:17PM
Tavake Lee Pikula is an accused killer no more.
Canberra prosecutors downgraded charges against the 31-year-old in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday.
Defence lawyer Dean Rutherford noted in court that his client had gone from "alleged murderer to barely even in the statement of facts".
Pikula was granted bail but will stay behind bars until he can secure parole.
Pikula had originally been charged with murder and trespass with an intent to cause harm in relation to the death of Canberra man Eden Waugh.
He pleaded not guilty to both allegations in December.
Last month, a second man, Peter Forster-Jones, 22, of Ainslie, was arrested and charged for the murder.
On Friday, the charges against Pikula were amended to knowingly concerned in murder and being knowingly concerned in aggravated robbery.
He was also fresh charged with attempting to conceal evidence.
He is yet to enter a plea to the new allegations.
Mr Waugh, 37, died from a single gunshot wound to his chest in his Watson home in November 2016.
Police allege the shooting was revenge after Mr Waugh went to police over an alleged home invasion triggered by a drug deal gone wrong.
Police allegedly found a gun and a crowbar believed to be linked to the alleged murder when they searched the Queanbeyan River in August.
Pikula had been a sentenced prisoner in NSW when he was arrested and transported to the territory to be charged with the killing in December.
He had been eligible for parole in NSW at the time of his extradition.
Prosecutor Margaret Jones did not oppose bail for Pikula on Friday, subject to a number of strict conditions, including he report to police daily, reside at a designated address, not consume alcohol or illicit drugs, and be subject to random urine analysis.
Before he can walk free, he must apply for parole and have it approved by the Sentence Administration Board.
He was remanded to reappear in court on the new charges in May.
Taniela Manu Pikula, 29, of Karabar, and Deanne Pikula, 26, of Queanbeyan, - who are charged as accessories after the fact for Mr Waugh's murder – also appeared briefly on Friday.
The matters were also adjourned to return to court in May.
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/murder-charge-over-eden-waugh-shooting-death-dropped-20180309-h0x98v.html