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Sydney brothers accused of brutal murder

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016 Margaret Scheikowski

Dane McNeill turned 20 just days before a garbage truck driver found his smoldering body in a burnt suitcase in the middle of a road in a Sydney reserve.

The ice user had been forced to take Xanax tablets and was bashed, stabbed and kept in a laundry overnight, before being attacked again and burned in the suitcase, said prosecutor Margaret Cunneen.

She was opening the crown case on Monday at the NSW Supreme Court jury trial of Azam Charbaji, 26, Haysem Charbaji, 24, and Lexy May Jamieson, 26.

The brothers have pleaded not guilty to the July 2014 murder of Mr McNeill, whose body was found at Picnic Point in Sydney's southwest, while Jamieson, the then girlfriend of the younger brother, has denied being an accessory.

Mr McNeill died of a combination of the effects of multiple stab wounds and the toxic effects of the drugs.

"Indications in the lungs showed death did not occur instantaneously but over a period of time," Ms Cunneen said.

Haysem Charbaji had allegedly been hassling Mr McNeill's girlfriend, Jade Patterson, claiming she owed him $3000 for damage which had been caused to his car by another person.

Mr McNeill's close friend, Brendan Gallo, would testify that they, the brothers and Jamieson were at an apartment when Mr McNeill asked to borrow money to settle a debt, Ms Cunneen said.

The brothers allegedly started punching Mr McNeill, who was stabbed in the buttock before a Chux cloth was placed over the wound and his hand and feet tied.

Mr Gallo would say the brothers forced Xanax tablets into Mr McNeill's mouth, which was then covered with duct tape before he was placed in the laundry where he lapsed into unconsciousness, Ms Cunneen said.

The court heard that the next day, after Mr McNeill was taken to Asam Charbaji's home, Mr Gallo heard a "massive scream" and later was asked to bring more Xanax "because Dane wouldn't shut up and keeps on screaming".

Back at the house, he allegedly saw one brother with a ratchet and later heard "a couple of bangs and screaming from inside the house".

The crown case against Jamieson related to her knowing the brothers had killed Mr McNeill, helping them avoid detection by getting advice about disposing of a body and about scrubbing clean any areas where there were traces of blood.

Her advisor would tell the jury he said: "Cook it, burn it, go get rid of the DNA."

The trial is continuing.

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