The charge against a man accused of killing a father of three at a house party has been downgraded after the case reached the Supreme Court.
The charge against a man accused of killing a father of three at a house party has been downgraded after the case reached the Supreme Court.

Kill charge downgraded over fatal stabbing at house party

THE murder charge against an Innisfail man accused of fatally stabbing a father of three at a party in an Innisfail unit has been downgraded to manslaughter.

Clay Stone, 31, was charged after he and Raymond Smerdelj, 32, allegedly got into a fight at an Edith St unit in October 2019.

During the argument Mr Smerdelj allegedly suffered a stab wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several people had been at the unit socialising at the time, before the fight allegedly broke out.

Innisfail man Raymond Smerdelj, 32, who died after allegedly being stabbed at a party. Picture: Facebook
Innisfail man Raymond Smerdelj, 32, who died after allegedly being stabbed at a party. Picture: Facebook

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Mr Stone was committed to stand trial for murder in the Cairns Supreme Court last year.

But Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane presented a new indictment when the case returned to court on Thursday, charging Mr Stone with manslaughter instead.

That charge still carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mr Stone was granted bail several weeks after his arrest with his barrister arguing at the time it would be alleged he had been acting in self defence and Mr Smerdelj had been the aggressor.

During the brief court appearance on Thursday, solicitor Laura Moore asked for the case to be adjourned for four weeks.

"(This is) to seek instructions about the course the matter will be taking," she said.

Justice Henry adjourned the case until March 25 and said this mention would be to determine whether the matter would be set down for trial, sentence or legal argument.

Mr Stone is yet to enter a plea.

Originally published as Kill charge downgraded over fatal stabbing at FNQ house party


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