A MINER will fight a charge that he killed an Armidale plumber on a property out of the town last year.
Andrew John Osmand, 49, is accused of the stabbing murder of local plumber Kenneth Robert Hodges in June 2017 at Dangarsleigh.
Osmand appeared via video link in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday for an arraignment where he formally pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.
He remains in custody.
After the plea was entered, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton set the trial down for two weeks in 2019.
The trial will be heard in the NSW Supreme Court which will sit in Armidale for two weeks from March 25.
But the case won’t be heard before a jury.
Following an application to the court, Justice Fullerton ordered the trial would be a judge-alone, meaning a Supreme Court judge will determine the verdict, after hearing the evidence.
Osmand is accused of murdering Mr Hodges by stabbing him in the the neck at the property they were both staying at, on Dangars Falls Rd at Dangarsleigh.
Detectives allege Osmand stabbed the 43-year-old during an incident at the house on the outskirts of Armidale, sometime between the night of June 21 and the morning of June 22.
Strike Force Kinsella – the police operation by Armidale detectives to investigate Mr Hodges’ death – arrested Osmand at the Dangarsleigh property on the morning of June 22.
He has been in custody since his arrest.
On Friday, Osmand, who appeared via video link from a correctional centre, made no application for bail during the proceedings and it was formally refused by Justice Fullerton.
He will remain in custody until his trial in March.
It’s the third mention of the murder case in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney, following two previous adjournments.
In April, Osmand did not enter a formal plea but waived his right to a committal hearing where he could have challenged the evidence, and instead Armidale Local Court was told he would head straight to trial.