Teah Luckwell’s body found by front door of house hours after ‘terrifying scream’, murder hearing told
A woman heard a “terrifying” scream in the early hours of the morning before seeing a “freaked out” man running past her Tamworth home, a murder hearing has been told.
Another neighbour heard a female scream “like you see in the movies, the lady gets frightened and she goes ‘Aargh’”.
Jesse Leigh Green, 30, is accused of the stabbing murder of his former neighbour, 22-year-old Teah Luckwell, in the early hours of March 28, 2018.
She was found that evening lying in a pool of blood just inside the front door of her Tamworth unit, while her baby daughter was unharmed.
Justice Stephen Campbell is conducting a special NSW Supreme Court hearing after Green was found to be unfit to stand trial.
He has been taken to have pleaded not guilty to the murder, as well as to break and enter and assault with a weapon said to have been committed at different houses on the same night.
‘Weird sort of growl’
Giving evidence on Tuesday, Donna Searle said she lived in Robert Street, while Luckwell – whose name she did not know at the time – lived two doors away in a block of flats.
After being unable to sleep in the early hours of March 28, she was reading in bed when one of her three dogs made a “weird sort of growl” and she heard a scream she will never forget.
“It was very loud and it was terrifying,” she said.
“It was not good”.
‘He was saying ‘oh s***, oh f***’’
Although she had heard screams in the area before, this was only the second one that made her get out of bed and look out onto the street.
“I saw what appeared to be a young guy running, trying to run – he was obviously affected by something,” she said.
“He was saying ‘oh s***, oh f***’ maybe three times, in a pretty distressed and freaked out voice.”
She went outside and didn’t see anybody, but noticed the clock said 4.20am.
Adrian Kenny, who lived behind Searle’s house, said he was up preparing for his early-morning shift when at around 4.20am he heard a bang, a scream, and then nothing.
The movie-like female scream was within seconds of the bang, which sounded like someone kicking a fence.
The judge described Kenny’s scream actions for the transcript as “putting his hands up and having a startled expression on his face”.
Mark Morgan said in the early hours on a date before Luckwell’s death, he and a friend were walking down the street when a person walked across the road flashing a torch and flicking up his hood.
“Me and Josh were pretty much spun out because of the actions of the person who was running across the road like they were up to something,” he said.
Josh said “that looked like Jesse Green”, but Morgan said he was not sure.
They walked “back to back,” thinking the man might have a blade and come for them, Morgan said.
He told his friend: “If this person runs at us, you grab the knife and I’ll bite his face off”.
Prosecutor Brian Costello has told the judge that Green’s alleged break-in and assault with a weapon the same night as the killing indicated he was minded to enter houses as a hostile intruder.
But his barrister Stuart Bouveng said there were 10 other people whose potential motive and opportunity to murder Luckwell must be examined.
The hearing is continuing.