MURDER accused Natasha Beth Darcy’s grant for legal aid is still under discussion.
The 34-year-old is charged with the murder of her former partner, and popular Walcha farmer Mathew Dunbar.
Appearing in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday as agent for Randall Legal, defence solicitor Gary Johnston said there’s more evidence expected to be served on the defence.
“There’s 13 volumes of brief to be provided and the grant for aid is still to be finalised,” he said.
“There’s two or three more volumes expected.”
Murphy’s Lawyers were having troubles with a grant of legal aid on the last occasion, and have transferred the case to Sydney law firm Randall Legal.
Officer in charge Detective Graham Goodwin sat in Tamworth Local Court for the proceedings, and defence solicitor Tracey Randall had made an application to appear via audio visual link but was refused, the court heard.
Magistrate Julie Soars said with the busy nature of the court, Ms Randall couldn’t be scheduled to appear electronically.
“She made an application to appear today, I just don’t think we can accommodate those sorts of requests in Tamworth,” she said.
“The negotiation period for the defendant only starts when the brief has been served, I assume it’s a complex matter.”
The matter is set for reply on July 25, while Darcy remains in custody, bail refused.
Darcy, also known as Darcy-Crossman, turned 43 in custody earlier this month and is being held in Sydney’s Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre on a single charge of murdering her late partner, grazier Mathew Dunbar, on August 2, last year.
Mr Dunbar died at his Walcha property on August 2 and Darcy was arrested on November 18 by detectives from Strike Force Ballin – the police operation set-up to probe the 42-year-old’s death which was labelled ‘suspicious’.
She was charged with murder and has been in custody since.
The Leader revealed in November that it was the police case that Darcy lied to investigators, used aliases and false names to allegedly source drugs, and researched then deleted web browser searches on how to commit murder.
As part of their case detailed in police facts, police allege in the nine days prior to Mr Dunbar’s death, Darcy allegedly searched ‘murder by injection, ‘the science of getting away with murder’, ‘99 undetectable poisons’, ‘arsenic’ as well as various methods of suicide.
Police also alleged that many of these searches related to certain methods of causing death that are undetectable or hard to locate during a post-mortem, and were allegedly deleted from her phone, but were recovered by police.
Police allege Darcy placed a quantity of drugs and animal sedatives into his food and drink on August 1, sedating him, before allegedly placing a plastic bag over his head and secured it with elastic before turning the tank of helium on, attached to the bag via a hose.
Mr Dunbar had at least five prescribed drugs in his system, according to toxicology reports, police claim, and that Darcy’s DNA, as well as that of Mr Dunbar’s was allegedly found on the bag around his neck.