Trial date set for Little Waihi murder accused

The accused appeared via audio visual link at the Tauranga High Court today. File image: SunLive.

A trial date has been set for the man accused of murdering a two-year-old in Little Waihi in March.

The man has been charged with murder after Nevaeh Jahkaya Whatukura Ager's body was discovered on the tidal flats of Little Waihi on March 21.

Name suppression for the accused has been continued and the trial is set for October 19, 2020 at the Rotorua High Court.

The man appeared via audio visual link from prison at the Tauranga High Court today and a pre-trial date has been set for March 2, 2020 in Hamilton High Court.

The 37-year-old man has plead not guilty to nine charges including murder, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault with a weapon.

The other charges stated in the Crown Charge notice are assault, wounding with intent to injure and possession of an offensive weapon.

Another charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard has been added today, this charge relates to assaulting a police officer on February 5 this year.

The defendant's lawyer Nicholas Chisnall told Justice Graham Lang that his client was seeking to have the other nine charges heard separately from the murder charge.

Crown solicitor Anna Pollett opposed the severance application.

She says the Crown wanted to have all the charges joined and heard together at the accused's murder trial.

One charge of assault with a weapon and another of resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty have been withdrawn by the crown.

The man has been remanded in custody.

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