Hearing To Determine If 'Burglar Killer' Goes To Trial (Photos)

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Accused "burglar killer" Ben Batterham could face a committal hearing to determine if he will be tried for murder.

Batterham is accused of murdering Ricky Slater on March 26, 2016, after Slater allegedly broke into Batterham's house in Newcastle, Australia, notes the Daily Mail.

In a committal hearing, a magistrate determines whether the prosecution has enough evidence for a case to go forward to trial, the Daily Mail explains.

On April 12, Magistrate Ian Cheetham said there was a "common position between the parties that the matter would proceed by way of a committal hearing for the issue of causation."

According to police, Slater broke into Batterham's house and stole a handbag from the nursery of Batterham's 7-month-old daughter, Daily Mail reported at the time.

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Yahoo! cited "several reports" that Batterham discovered Slater "near the bedroom of his daughter," leading Mad World News to conclude that Slater was a "pervert" and a "degenerate" with "pedophile tendencies," who "entered a child's bedroom with bad intentions."

Batterham and a friend attacked Slater, put him in a headlock and dragged him to the street, Yahoo! reported.

After police arrived on the scene, Slater lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital where he was put on life support, which his family turned off the following day.

The police report said Slater was carrying weapons and drugs at the time, including three knives and ecstasy tablets. He also was in possession of three new iPhones.

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Batterham was initially charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, but that was upgraded to murder when Slater died.

Batterham's arrest sparked outrage among supporters who argued he acted in self-defense and was protecting his family.

Thousands of people signed petitions demanding Batterham's release.

Slater's mother, Beryl Dickson, defended her son, calling him a "good boy," and lamenting that his three children are now fatherless.

"They've lost their father, their beautiful father that they haven't seen for years because he was in jail, which has nothing to do with this case," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Batterham has been free on bail since May 2016, the Daily Mail reported.

In granting bail, Stone said he did "not agree with the [Crown Court] submission that this is a strong case" for murder.

He said "a stranger found in your home with your partner's handbag" and "in your child's nursery at 3 a.m." might justify a charge lesser than homicide.

Sources: Daily Mail (2), Yahoo!, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mad World News/Facebook / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Media-Mode/Daily Mail Australia, Supplied via Daily Mail

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