MISSING: Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett
MISSING: Rockhampton woman Chantal Barnett Contributed

Murder victim told friend 'her days were numbered'

DRUG users, dealers, and women who will do anything for a hit make up the "seedy underbelly of Rockhampton”, a court has heard.

Crown prosecutor Vicky Loury made the claim as she outlined her case to a fresh jury in a double murder trial over the deaths of Chantal Barnett and Robert Martinez.

Ian Robert Armstrong and Daniel George Hong have both pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of interfering with a corpse.

"Sadly, Chantal Barnett and Robert Martinez were part of that drug community, part of that world," Ms Loury said.

Mr Martinez' mother, Julie Martinez, told the court she and her partner Edward Gosbee paid a $5000 drug debt on behalf of her son before he was sent to prison in August 2012.

MISSING: Rockhampton man Robert Martinez
MISSING: Rockhampton man Robert Martinez Contributed

She recalled a conversation with her son, Ms Barnett and others prior to August 2012 where Ms Barnett claimed someone had kicked her door in and the "Emerald mob was coming to get them with glocks” over a drug debt owed to Kylie Moore.

Ms Loury said the Crown's evidence included there was a $30,000 price on Ms Barnett's head.

Ms Barnett told her friend Pauline Bunn before Christmas 2012 that "her days were numbered" and "her past was catching up with her".

Ms Bunn was told that Ms Barnett had "stolen a heap of gear (drugs) and around $10,000 from Hongie".

Ms Loury said Ms Barnett had even asked her sister and Adam O'Mara, just days before she disappeared, to book her into a motel for her own safety.

Another friend - Renaee Ray - pawned items to try and get cash for Ms Barnett who had received a threatening letter demanding she settle her debt by a deadline.

Ms Loury said Ms Ray will describe Ms Barnett as hiding in the car as they drove from pawn shop to pawn shop.

Mr Martinez' partner, Melissa McKenzie, said she withdraw $900 in cash and gave it to Mr Martinez on the last day (February 27) she saw him - half an hour before Mr Armstrong arrived at their Berserker home.

The court will also hear evidence that will show Mr Armstrong made 113 calls or SMS to Ms Barnett and Mr Martinez in the two days before they went missing.

However, Mr Hong's defence barrister Stephen Kissick said the Crown's evidence showed his client was "elsewhere doing something else" at the alleged time Ms Barnett and Mr Martinez were killed.

"You are going to hear some pretty wild stories from the witness box," Mr Kissick said.

He said a career criminal was expected to say Mr Hong told him 'I done it. I'm going to get a way with it".

Ms Loury said witnesses will allege Mr Hong boasted about giving both Mr Martinez and Ms Barnett 'hot shots' - lethal doses of drugs.

Mr Kissick said the jury will hear evidence from unreliable witnesses who are drug users and there will be inconsistencies in their own versions, objective realities, and objective evidence.

Mr Armstrong's defence barrister Andrew Hoare said his client's actions after Ms Barnett's and Mr Martinez' disappearance were inconsistent with someone who knew what had happened to them.

He claimed a lot of witnesses will have "half remembered recollections by people intoxicated by drugs".

Ms Loury said forensic pathologist Dr Nathan Milne, who performed the autopsy on Mr Martinez's skeletal remains, could not determine a cause of death.

"He will tell you there were no fractures he could see that could be premortem," Ms Loury said.

She said a police officer who attended the farm off Bowlin Rd where Mr Martinez' remains were found observed it appeared Mr Martinez was lying on his back and all the bones found were in a two metre square area.

Ms Loury said while Ms Barnett's remains have never been found, a water expert will talk about how the rising and dropping water levels of the Fitzroy River after Tropical Cyclone Oswald could have washed her remains down the Fitzroy River.



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