Melbourne, Australia, residents Jake Fairest, Georgia Fields, and Warwick Toohey were caught by a CCTV camera discussing how best to kill their housemate Robert Wright. Shortly thereafter, Wright, then 36, fell to his death from a balcony, suffering a catastrophic head injury.
Fairest, Fields, and Toohey are each deaf. They conducted this alleged murder-plot conversation using sign language.
In addition, Toohey and Fairest are intellectually disabled, while Fields is diagnosed with atypical autism. The defense claims Fairest has “one of the lowest IQs in Australia.”
Robert Wright, the victim, was also deaf.
Prior to a special hearing in Victorian Supreme Court, a sign language interpreter broke down the surveillance footage for prosecutor Christopher Dane.
On the tape, Georgia Fields reportedly asks Jake Fairest in regard to Robert Wright, “You want dead or alive, and how die?”
Fairest responds that they should strangle Wright, but Fields suggest making him fall, signing, “Fall good! Fall good!”
Toohey says to Fairest, “You grab, hold,” and “grab and to push forward.”
“Fairest and Toohey,” according to the prosecutors, “lifted [Wright] up and forced his body over the railing of the balcony while Fields looked on.”
“Much of what the Crown says happened, we do not disagree with,” defense attorney Theo Alexander said. “The issue in relation to Toohey is how his mental capacity interacts with his legal liability.”
A neighbor is said to have witnessed the act and will testify. The hearing is set to continue on Wednesday.
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