Court hears man was brutally beaten and stabbed to death

A MOTHER and son have faced court accused of murdering the woman's step-father in a bid to secure more than half a million dollars worth of cash and assets they thought he had left to them in his will.

Samantha Ann Brownlow, 45, and her son Corey James Lovell, 21, are accused of murdering Brownlow's 62-year-old stepfather Robin Behrendorff whose body was found in his Burnett Heads home in April 2011.

Brownlow pleaded guilty to the charge of murder yesterday in Bundaberg Supreme Court and is expected to be sentenced next week.

But her son maintains his innocence in the matter, pleading not guilty at the start of his trial in which more than 30 witnesses are expected to be called.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said throughout the trial, the court would hear how in July 2010, Mr Behrendorff had made a will in the presence of Brownlow in which he left her nearly all of his half a million dollars worth of assets, cash and insurance.

"That was a fateful mistake on his part," Mr Cummings said of Behrendorff's will.

Police allege Brownlow and Lovell drove from Toowoomba to Burnett Heads and murdered Behrendorff without realising that he had changed his will so his brother benefited instead of Brownlow.

"Mr Behrendorff was brutally beaten to death," Mr Cummings told the jury.

"By the time he died he had massive brain injuries."

The prosecutor said the victim suffered at least eight to 10 blows and was also stabbed to the throat four times.

Mr Cummings said Brownlow had promised her son $50,000 to help her murder his step-grandfather.

It is also alleged that Lovell's DNA was found on the victim's right hand and that the victim's blood was found on the Lovell's clothing.

The trial continues before Justice Duncan McMeekin.



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