Shot fired over $50 debt

November 23, 2016

Police at the scene where the alleged shooting took place in Vaughan St, Shepparton in June.

A man shot in the head over $50 in a Shepparton street in broad daylight had been arguing with the accused about chasing his brother with an axe, a court heard.

Kyle Egan and Ronald Murray Forrester drove to meet Douglas Weston over a paltry $50 debt Mr Weston owed to Mr Egan, the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

Instead, Mr Forrester and Mr Weston argued over Mr Weston chasing Mr Forrester’s brother with an axe and ended with Mr Forrester shooting Mr Weston in the head.

Mr Forrester then buried the gun in the Shepparton cemetery while Mr Egan disposed of his mate’s jacket under a tree.

Mr Egan, 23, who was represented by lawyer Luke Slater, pleaded guilty to assisting Mr Forrester, 24, by disposing of his jacket after the fact. 

Mr Forrester has already pleaded guilty to the crime.

Prosecutor Marwan El-Asmar told the court Mr Egan was a passenger in the car when they went to meet the victim at 8.30am in Vaughan St on June 5.

The pair had pulled up alongside Mr Weston, who was alone in a Holden Calais, and he and Mr Forrester began arguing about the axe episode.

Mr Weston started to drive off when Mr Forrester said ‘‘I will shoot you now then c***’’ and produced a firearm, Mr El-Asmar said.

He said Mr Forrester tried to fire once and failed, but then was able to fire at Mr Weston’s car.

‘‘The bullet went through the rear driver’s side window and hit the victim to the top of his right eye,’’ he said.

The bullet went behind the nasal passage and lodged behind the left eye, where it remains.

‘‘It may result in permanent loss of vision (if removed),’’ Mr El-Asmar said.

Mr Weston, 27, was able to jump out of his car and run to get help from a resident of a nearby unit while the gun was buried at the Shepparton cemetery.

Magistrate John O’Callaghan said Mr Weston could easily have been killed.

‘‘But for the grace of God, that bullet could have pierced his brain and killed him,’’ Mr O’Callaghan said.

The pair will reappear in court on November 30 for a directions hearing.

— The Age

- Tammy Mills

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