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11 June, 2021

Two men to stand trial in Mackay Supreme Court

TWO men will stand trial in the Mackay Supreme Court for the alleged murder of 21-year-old Airlie Beach man, Jay Brogden in 2008.


Braddon Charles Peter Butler was committed for trial today in the Mackay Magistrate’s Court and will remain in custody.

On Monday June 7, co-accused, Gavin Parnell was also committed for trial in the Mackay Supreme Court and remanded in custody, although the two accused may be tried separately.

Evidence was tabled in the Mackay Magistrates Court this week that Jay Brogden may have been beaten up, shot and then tossed over the side of a boat near Shute Harbour.

Witnesses Robert and Margaret Murray told Mackay’s Magistrate’s Court that one of the accused, Gavin Parnell, had bragged about murdering Jay Brogden while drinking with a group of witnesses.

Margaret Murray said that Gavin Parnell then repeated his murderous claim the next morning.

Robert Murray also testified that Parnell told him that three people went out on a boat and one put a gun between two of them and said that one of you isn’t coming back. 

The Mackay Magistrates Court also heard of drug taking by witnesses and that noone had reported claims of a murder to the police, and only gave evidence after being identified and interviewed by police.

The week-long committal is the culmination of years of extensive and detailed investigations by Airlie Beach and Brisbane detectives who submitted up to 200 sworn statements from 140 witnesses.

Committal Hearings in the Mackay Magistrates Court this week followed a Coroner’s Inquiry in 2015, which was held six years after Jay Anthony Brogden was reported as missing in 2008.

At that time, Coroner Jane Bentley ruled that the cause of Jay Brogden’s death was unknown but suspicious and recommended the Homicide Squad immediately report on this suspicious death to the Coroner.

The Mackay Magistrate Court also heard evidence that Jay Brogden disappeared after a violent incident with Patricia Heath, where police attended after Jay Brogden made a triple-0 call to the police.

However Jay Brogden disappeared before the attending police arrived.

Police detectives told Court that Patricia Heath had had a blood nose and a bruised eye.

The trial is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court, in Mackay later this year.


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