A witness in the case against a trio accused of torturing and murdering a southeast Queensland man says he saw a man fall out of a large Esky pushed from the back of a ute.
Matthew Leslie Armitage, his father Stephen John Armitage and William Francis Dean are charged with killing 33-year-old Shaun Barker in December 2013.
It's alleged Mr Barker had a drug connection to the accused and was tortured over a number of days - including being locked in a commercial Esky and tied up in bushland, with honey poured over his genitals to attract ants.
Crown witness Corey Ballard on Monday told a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court he recalled seeing a commercial fishing Esky fall off the back of a ute while working at Stephen Armitage's property.
He said the man fell out of the Esky, then appeared to begin getting up.
Mr Ballard said he then quickly turned away and couldn't identify who the man was, if anyone was standing nearby or whether the man was injured.
He said all of the accused had been in the vicinity of the property when the Esky fell from the back of the ute.
Under cross-examination Mr Ballard, who had been working for Stephen Armitage alongside long-time friend Matthew, admitted he'd been smoking ice regularly in the months leading up to December 2013.
He said there was a possibility he may have used drugs at work on the day he saw the man fall out of the Esky.
Mr Ballard also said he felt intimidated by detectives who pulled his car over a day after he gave his first police statement in relation to the case.
"They made really bold accusations ... they told me that if I didn't tell the truth I was looking at the same time as the others (those charged with murder)," he said.
He later changed his police statement in September 2014 to include details about the Esky.
Mr Barker's remains were found in Toolara Forest on the Sunshine Coast in April 2014.
The court is expected to hear from eight witnesses on Monday and Tuesday before the hearing is adjourned until February.