See the defence case: Jury must decide if Johann is dead, defence tells court
TROY Ruttley killed Johann Morgan and then dragged her body out of her Tamworth house and disposed of it, a Supreme Court jury has been told.
Crown prosecutor Bryan Rowe told Tamworth court Ruttley assaulted his on-off girlfriend inside her Cole Rd home on or about August 9, 2015, and "occasioned an injury or injuries" that led to a loss of a "significant quantity of blood", and that she had died.
In his closing address to the jury of six men and six women on Wednesday, Mr Rowe said that after Ruttley allegedly killed Ms Morgan, he returned to his Kenny Dr home to get his Mitsubishi Magna and used the car to "transport Johann Morgan's body ... to a location that is only known to the accused".
He then torched the car a day later at a quarry 17km outside of Tamworth.
He did that in order to destroy forensic evidence that may have been left inside that car.
"He did that in order to destroy forensic evidence that may have been left inside that car," Mr Rowe said.
Mr Rowe said the jury would "have no doubt" Mr Morgan is deceased, pointing to her wallet found inside her house that contained her driver's licence, bank, medicare and health care cards which have not been touched since early August, 2015.
"All of these you would take with you," he told the jury.
"They are essential personal possessions, you don't leave home without them.
"This is overwhelming evidence that Johann Morgan has not gone off."
Mr Rowe said the overwhelming evidence from family showed no-one has heard from Ms Morgan since August 9 - despite her having contact with her children on an almost daily basis beforehand.
"Johann Morgan had a close, strong connection to her family," he told the court, adding that there were "four children who have not heard from their mother".
"She is not leaving ... she is deceased."
He said neighbours remembered hearing "banging and smashing", and the jury would conclude "there was a violent incident that happened across the road at 13 Cole Rd on 9 August 2015".
"Johann Morgan is dead, Johann Morgan had many, many people that cared about her and kept in frequent contact with her," he told the jury.
People were alarmed that they had not seen her ... Johann Morgan had people that noticed ... It's fanciful that she went off to start a new life somewhere.
"People were alarmed that they had not seen her ... Johann Morgan had people that noticed.
"It's fanciful that she went off to start a new life somewhere".
He told the jury that a specialist forensic officer believed it was "highly likely an accelerant" or combustible liquid had been used to help start the fire that engulfed and destroyed the Magna - an act the Crown says Ruttley did to burn any trace of forensic evidence linking him to her disappearance and murder.
Mr Rowe said Ruttley did not search for Ms Morgan in the days after she went missing but told "deliberate lies" just after the disappearance that were "lies designed to hide his involvement".
He said Ruttley told the jury family members were being teased about the situation on August 10 - the day after the alleged murder - and six days before she had even been reported missing to police.
The trial continues on Thursday before Justice Anthony Payne.