National

Qld drug dealer appeals murder conviction

By AAP Newswire

A Queensland drug dealer has appealed his conviction for murdering a man before burying him in a shallow grave in a forest.

Roberto Vincenzo Boscaino was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty in December last year of murdering another dealer Samuel Thompson.

Boscaino had admitted he helped cover up Mr Thompson's killing at his house in 2017, but denied killing him.

During his trial Boscaino blamed his co-accused, one-time anti-Islamic State fighter Ashley Dyball, who was found not guilty of the murder in a separate trial earlier this month.

Mr Thompson told a friend he was getting a new cannabis supplier on the day he went to Boscaino's house.

He met with both Boscaino and Dyball and was never seen alive again.

Mr Thompson's body was found in the Beerburrum State Forest north of Brisbane about a month after he went missing.

He died either from strangulation or a blow to his face with a tomahawk.

In the Queensland Court of Appeal on Wednesday, defence barrister Ben Power questioned whether there was evidence to support the prosecution's claim during the trial that Boscaino's plan to rob Mr Thompson was also a plan to kill him.

He also questioned the testimony of former prisoner Michael Earwaker who told the trial Boscaino made a jailhouse confession about how he helped attack Mr Thompson with an axe, rolled his body in a carpet and dumped him into an old toolbox.

Crown prosecutor David Meredith said Boscaino's extensive post-offence conduct supported the case that he was involved in the intentional killing.

Footage played during the trial showed Boscaino's ute driving on the Gateway Motorway to and from the location where Mr Thompson's body was found.

He was also captured on security footage dumping a toolbox at the Nudgee tip, hiring a floor sander to remove evidence from his house and driving Mr Thompson's car to northern NSW where it was abandoned.

Boscaino pleaded guilty at the trial to interfering with a corpse.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.