Indigenous teen's murder accused plead not guilty

·2-min read
Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS

Four people accused of fatally bashing Indigenous Perth teenager Cassius Turvey have pleaded not guilty to his murder and been committed to stand trial.

Cassius, a 15-year-old Noongar Yamatji boy, was allegedly chased down and attacked with a metal pole as he walked home from school with friends on October 13, 2022.

He suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital 10 days later, triggering an outpouring of grief and anger across the nation, with some Indigenous leaders condemning the alleged assault as cowardly and racist.

Brodie Lee Palmer, 28, Mitchell Colin Forth, 25, Jack Steven James Brearley, 22, and Aleesha Louise Gilmore, 21, were charged with murder.

They briefly appeared on Wednesday via video link in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court where they entered not guilty pleas.

Brearley, Forth and Palmer also denied assaulting and stealing a baseball cap and crutches from another teen on the same day as Cassius was allegedly attacked. Gilmore is accused of assaulting the same boy and pleaded not guilty.

Brearley and Forth, and another man named Ethan Robert MacKenzie, 19, are also accused of detaining and wounding another 15-year-old boy in the days before Cassius was attacked.

The teen was allegedly chased down on October 9 and punched, kicked and stabbed before being taken to a house where he was held for a period of time.

Brearley and Forth pleaded not guilty to both charges on Wednesday and Gilmore pleaded not guilty to detaining the boy.

Brearley appeared from Casuarina Prison in Perth's south and Palmer, Forth and MacKenzie appeared from Hakea Prison. Gilmore was in Greenough Regional Prison, about 400km north of Perth.

Brearley was charged in October, before Palmer, Forth, MacKenzie and Gilmore were charged in January. 

Brearley, Palmer, Forth and Gilmore were remanded in custody until July 31 for their first appearance in the Supreme Court, when a trial date is expected to be set.

MacKenzie was remanded in custody ahead of a mention on June 21.

Cassius has been remembered as a loving son and a role model to his friends. He had started his own lawn-mowing business and was invited at age 11 to deliver an acknowledgement of country at the WA parliament.

Some members of his family attended court on Wednesday but they declined to speak to media.

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