Police believe Nambour man Bruce Saunders was murdered in November 2017.
Police believe Nambour man Bruce Saunders was murdered in November 2017. Contributed

Homeowner's shock moments after alleged woodchipper murder

UPDATE:

A PROPERTY owner told a court she was grieving her husband and son when a gruesome woodchipper murder is alleged to have happened on her property on November 12, 2017.

Sharon Beighton became emotional as she told Maroochydore Magistrates Court that murder-accused Peter John Koenig, 62, and Greg Lee Roser, 60, returned to her house soon after Nambour man Bruce Saunders' body partially went through an industrial woodchipper.

The court has heard Mr Koenig, Mr Roser and their alleged victim were clearing trees and branches on Ms Beighton's property at the time of death.

Ms Beighton said Mr Roser claimed he was "holding (Mr Saunders') legs" but "couldn't save him", and Mr Koenig told her to ring police.

Nambour man Bruce Saunders (left) died at a Goomboorian property in November 2017. Gregory Roser (top left) and Peter Koenig (top right) have faced court this week charged with Mr Saunders' alleged murder. Photos: Contributed
Nambour man Bruce Saunders (left) died at a Goomboorian property in November 2017. Gregory Roser (top left) and Peter Koenig (top right) have faced court this week charged with Mr Saunders' alleged murder. Photos: Contributed

"Mr Koenig was shaking, perspiring profusely, just about collapsed on the floor of the concrete where the outdoor setting was," she said.

"Mr Roser was leaning up against one of the posts, just kept saying 'I tried to save him, I tried to save him'.

"Peter couldn't say anything, he was just horrified, I could see in his eyes, of what had taken place."

Ms Beighton said she put a blanket on Mr Koenig after she rang triple-zero.

Police prosecutor Mick Phillips questioned whether Ms Baton would like to add anything further to the three statements she had given police.

"There's a lot of things that happened, I can't remember everything it's, it's… it's a terrible thing," Ms Beighton said as she shook her head.

"I can't remember a lot of what was said on the night, because I was in shock, I mean something just happened on my property and I had not long lost my husband, and my son."

Sharon Graham, 55, is the third co-accused in the matter and awaits a Supreme Court trial.

The committal hearing has concluded today and will continue for a third day tomorrow.

EARLIER:

A COURT heard one of the men accused in the woodchipper murder had dramatically changed his story about the circumstances of Nambour man Bruce Saunders' death.

Gregory Lee Roser, 60, and Peter John Koenig, 62, are two of three people charged with murder and attempting to pervert justice after Mr Saunders' body went through an industrial woodchipper on November 12, 2017 on a property near Gympie.

They appeared in custody in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court dock today as witnesses gave evidence on day two of a committal hearing.

A third accused Sharon Graham, 55, awaits Supreme Court trial on a date to be fixed after waiving her right to a prior examination of prosecution evidence.

One of three police officers who attended the alleged murder scene today told the court how he and two others removed human remains from the woodchipper, including legs sticking out of the feeder chute.

The Sergeant described handling human remains, high-visibility fabric, "internal gore", blood and branches.

Sharon Graham awaits Supreme Court trial on a date to be fixed after waiving her right to a prior examination of prosecution evidence. Photo: Patrick Woods
Sharon Graham awaits Supreme Court trial on a date to be fixed after waiving her right to a prior examination of prosecution evidence. Photo: Patrick Woods

Mr Saunders' family, including his brother and sister-in-law, had travelled from as far as Bundaberg to attend today's proceedings and Mr Saunders' only son had also travelled to the Sunshine Coast but was unable to attend court.

Owner of the Bay Residential Village Karen Sharp gave evidence Mr Roser was her tenant and in November 2017, had told her of a fatal "incident" involving Mr Saunders and a woodchipper.

She said when they spoke about the incident again in March 2018, Mr Roser's story had dramatically changed.

"First time in November I thought it was just an accident, but by the time it got to February I knew we were dealing with something very different," Ms Sharp told the court.

Ms Sharp said Mr Roser first claimed he and his co-accused, Mr Koenig, were felling trees at one end of a clearing and the late Mr Saunders was at another location.

"And all of a sudden he said he heard a horrific noise, looked over to the chipper and saw his mate was in trouble, so he ran over to the chipper and tried to pull Bruce out," Ms Sharp said.

When she questioned why Mr Roser did not push the emergency button, she claimed Mr Roser was quick to say he had been "telling (Bruce) off all day about being on his phone" and he believed his long shirt got caught in the chipper.

"Then he proceeded to tell me that Bruce was as blind as a bat, needed his glasses," she said.

Ms Sharp claimed in March Mr Roser's story had changed to a version of events whereby Mr Saunders was feeding branches through a woodchipper at another area in the clearing and when the co-accused returned with a tree to find Mr Saunders was "slumped against a tree" with a "massive gash to his head" and "bleeding profusely".

Sharon Graham's family member Rebecca Graham gave evidence about a conversation with a group of people which included Mr Roser, on November 13, the day after the death.

Ms Graham said Mr Roser appeared to be "distraught and would stop and start crying" and "everyone appeared to be in shock".

"It was just a matter of when the boys got back they were just sitting at the table staring into space, and when Greg would start talking, he'd be fine then get quite upset and emotional about it, so I just believed that was someone that was in shock," she said.

Witnesses continue to give evidence today and the committal hearing is expected to continue tomorrow.