BEACHY STOUT AND CO-ACCUSED FREED OF CONSPIRACY TO MURDER CHARGE

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Portland businessman Everton ‘Beachy Stout’ McDonald and his co-accused Oscar Barnes were today freed of charges of conspiracy to murder McDonald’s wife.

The pair will however stand trial in the Home Circuit Court in relation to the murder charge.

The partially burnt body of 32-year-old Tonia McDonald was found with the throat slashed on a road in Sherwood Forest, in Portland in July 2020.

Her husband and two others were charged in connection with her murder.

Contract killer Denvalyn Minott pleaded guilty in relation to his role in the murder and has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Minott testified at the trial that McDonald had hired him to kill his wife for $3 million.

The court and the jury have heard secret recordings in relation to the alleged murder plot.

Defence lawyers have argued that the two remaining accused were not heard in the recordings.

When McDonald and Barnes appeared in court today, Justice Chester Stamp upheld submissions from defence lawyers that there was no evidence to establish that there was a conspiracy between them to commit murder.

When the trial resumes tomorrow the accused men are expected to state their defence in relation to the murder charge.