When Peter Koenig fed Bruce Saunders into a wood chipper, he made sure his friend’s legs were exposed to make it look like an accident, a court heard.
Koenig testified Wednesday against Gregory Lee Roser, 63, who is on trial for the murder of Saunders, 54, at a property north of Brisbane in November 2017.
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The court heard Sharon Graham, 61, asked Roser and Koenig to kill Saunders and make it look like an accident in order to collect her ex-partner’s $750,000 life insurance policy.
The jury was shown police footage of Saunders’ legs sticking out of a wood chipper on the Goomboorian estate near Gympie where he had been clearing trees with Roser and Koenig.
Roser killed Saunders by hitting him repeatedly with a metal bar before they both carried the body to the nearby chopper, Koenig told Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Koenig said he used a branch to push Saunders into the machine but decided to stop with his legs still out, making it look like an accident.
“Just to leave a little bit of Bruce there, I suppose … for the police to see,” said Koenig, who pleaded guilty in June to subsequent aiding and abetting murder.
Koenig told the jury he couldn’t call Triple-0 because his hands were shaking, but Roser was able to call Graham before giving him the phone.
Koenig agreed that he told Graham, “Bruce is no longer with us, the job is done.”
Koenig said Roser then started yelling “something like … ‘Oh Bruce, what have you done’,” in a move he believed would lead neighbors to think there had been an accident.
Koenig said Roser told him they needed to “get their story straight” before police arrived.
At first, Koenig didn’t believe Saunders would die and said it wasn’t the first time Graham had asked him to kill a man for money.
He said Graham told him to murder another ex-partner, Barry Collins, in early 2017 and “make it look like a truck accident”.
When asked why, Koenig said, “Because he had a lot of pension money, she was the beneficiary of it.”
“I only agreed to make her happy (but) no (didn’t do anything) — he’s still alive today,” Koenig told the jury.
He said he also refused to kill Saunders, whom he considered a friend.
He hoped Saunders wouldn’t die after they cleared trees on the property for a third straight weekend.
“I was like, ‘Beauty, that’s not going to happen,'” Koenig said.
But as they walked to the estate’s home, Koenig said he saw Saunders fall to the ground.
“I rolled over and he (Saunders) was lying on the floor with his eyes slightly open … he was twitching,” he said.
“Greg was there with a pole and hit (Saunders) on the head a few more times.
“I said, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ and he said, ‘I think I killed him’ and ‘he’s dead’.”
Koenig said he helped carry Saunders to the chopper because Roser couldn’t make it on his own due to a bad back.
He agreed that the metal bar was his and put it back in his truck afterwards.
Koenig said he was in a close relationship with Graham, who was dating Roser at the time of her ex-partner Saunders’ death.
At the trial, Graham was accused of being in a “love quadrangle” with Roser, Koenig and Saunders and of planning the latter’s murder for months.
Graham has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Saunders, but a Brisbane High Court judge on Tuesday ordered that she be tried separately from Roser.
Koenig denied murdering Saunders because he had been “obsessed and in love” with Graham for more than 10 years.
“I didn’t kill him,” Koenig told Roser’s attorney Lars Falcongreen.
Roser’s trial continues.
https://7news.com.au/news/woodchipper-murder-case-bruce-saunders-legs-left-sticking-out-of-machine-to-look-like-an-accident-c-8382884 Woodcutter murder case: Bruce Saunders’ legs stuck out of machine to ‘look like an accident’