A man accused of helping a US marine murder Gold Coast woman Kelly Wilkinson, who died in agony after being set alight, has faced court also charged with murder.
Brian Earle Johnston is accused of setting Wilkinson on fire in the backyard of her Gold Coast home on April 20.
Johnston’s former co-worker and now co-accused Bradley Bell, 25, faced court on Wednesday accused of driving Johnston to Wilkinson’s home and being instrumental in the crime.
Wilkinson’s family watched on from the gallery as a dishevelled Bell appeared before Southport magistrates court barefoot and wearing a hospital gown.
Police will allege the Pimpama man was known to Kelly’s estranged husband and was aware of his murderous intent.
It is also alleged he assisted in preparatory acts before Wilkinson was killed, including stopping at a petrol station to obtain fuel before driving her estranged husband to her house.
“We will allege he knew what the end result was going to be,” Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said on Tuesday.
Police believe the 25-year-old man was not known to Wilkinson or her family.
Three months have passed since Wilkinson’s estranged husband Johnston was charged with her murder.
Bell was initially interviewed by police after Wilkinson’s murder, but they discounted his version of events after subsequent investigations.
Police seized phones and believe the two men lived together intermittently, but not in a permanent arrangement.
When Wilkinson was killed, it’s alleged that Johnston tied the mother-of-three up before setting her alight at her Arundel home.
The 34-year-old former US marine was also charged with breaching a domestic violence order and his bail conditions.
Johnston was arrested two blocks from the home suffering burns to his hands and possibly his airway.
He was transferred to the burns unit at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Brisbane.
Johnston remains in custody after being refused bail and briefly appeared in court on Friday.
His lawyers asked the judge for an adjournment until 15 October.
Bell did not enter a plea and was remanded to face court again on the same date.
Outside the court, prosecutors and detectives briefed Wilkinson’s family about what they can expect from the next steps in the court process.