Murder accused makes bid for bail freedom
AN INNISFAIL man charged with the stabbing murder of a man at a party in an Innisfail unit has made a bid for bail almost a year after the incident.
Clay Stone, 31, is accused of using a knife to stab Innisfail father-of-three Raymond Smerdelj, 32, in the chest after the pair got into a fight in an Edith St unit in October last year.
Several other people were in the unit at the time and had been socialising together before the fight broke out.
Mr Stone has been in custody ever since, but launched a bail application in the Cairns Supreme Court on Friday.
Defence barrister Frank Richards said his client would allege self defence and that Mr Smerdelj was the aggressor prior to his death.
He said Mr Stone's mother had offered a $10,000 surity if released and he was not a flight risk after willingly surrendering into police custody in the aftermath.
"He goes to a friend's house, he spontaneously discusses what happened," Mr Richards said.
"He is called by police and told to stay there and he does.
"He had the opportunity to make himself scarce and he doesn't."
The court heard Mr Stone had a history of failing to appear for court, although Justice Jim Henry said this seemed more due to a "disorganised life rather than someone trying to flee justice".
He said there was some prospect of bail.
"It seems to be a self-defence case (a jury) is going to have to decide on one way or the other," he said.
"The question is whether that went too far, I suppose."
Justice Henry adjourned the application until September 25 following Mr Stone's committal which is due to be held next month in the Cairns Magistrates Court.
Originally published as FNQ murder accused makes bid for bail freedom