CASTERTON’S Ray McCombe received 34 stab wounds to the head, chest and abdomen, making it impossible for a forensic pathologist to determine which injury caused his death, a court heard today.
Aaron Jamie Ball, 32, formerly of Russell St Casterton, has been charged with the stabbing murders of Mr McCombe and Warrnambool man, Toby Lynch, along with the attempted murder of Casterton’s Stephen Mark, in Casterton, in October last year.
The committal hearing began in Warrnambool Magistrate’s Court today.
Forensic pathologist, Matthew Lynch, told the court that a blow to Mr McCombe’s head, which entered his brain, could have been fatal, but nine blows to the chest and six to the abdomen could also have caused his death.
Similarly Dr Lynch said the cause of Toby Lynch’s death was due to complications relating to stab wounds in the chest and abdomen.
The court heard from Jessica O’Neill, who was in a relationship with Mr Lynch at the time and visiting the McCombe residence on the night he died.
Ms O’Neill told the court there was a gathering at the McCombe address, on October 4 last year, where many people were drinking and two males were smoking marijuana.
She said Jessie McCombe, Mr McCombe’s daughter, left the gathering by herself, later followed by Mr Lynch, Mr McCombe and Mr Mark, who went across to the “loonies”, referring to the address of the accused in Miller St, Casterton.
“I just know them as the loonies,” Ms O’Neill said.
“Something was said about Jessie’s mum.
“I told Toby not to do anything stupid and to come back, but he didn’t listen.”
Ms O’Neill said she heard Jessie screaming and male voices arguing.
“As I walked out the front, I heard ‘my dad’s just been stabbed’,” Ms O’Neill said.
Janelle Lovell told the court that she saw her partner, Mr McCombe, stabbed by the accused.
“Ray didn’t touch him,” she said.
“Ray didn’t have a chance to do a friggin’ thing.”
Mr Mark also gave evidence today, telling the court that he had seen the accused holding “what looked like a rifle” earlier in the day, when he arrived at the McCombe residence.
Full details in Thursday’s paper; the hearing continues tomorrow.