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Woman killed by partner in SA bush: court

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016

A woman and her boyfriend were camping in outback South Australia when he beat her to death before later fleeing into the bush on foot, a court has heard.

Danny Ferguson, 36, has been charged with murdering 34-year-old Serena Amos near Oodnadatta in July 2015.

In his murder trial on Wednesday, the Supreme Court of South Australia heard Ferguson drove his dead partner from the campsite to her sister's house in town.

"When he drove that red Torago into Oodnadatta that afternoon Serena Amos was dead in the fully reclined front passenger seat," prosecutor Peter Longson said in his opening address.

"She died of multiple soft tissue injuries which caused her to bleed internally and gave her acute renal (kidney) failure."

He said Ferguson stopped to speak with a young boy on a motorbike on the way back to town.

"Danny Ferguson said to him, 'Can I have your bike? You can have the bus'.

"The boy said no because he was going hunting kangaroos."

The court heard Ferguson first drove to Ms Amos's sister's house and asked her to get in the car.

"She couldn't feel a pulse," Mr Longson said of what the sister saw.

They headed to a clinic but when nurses couldn't revive Ms Amos, Ferguson fled into the outback.

Police launched a widespread manhunt and brought in aboriginal trackers, sniffer dogs and aeroplanes to help.

They picked up Ferguson's track and he was arrested about 110km north of Oodnadatta almost four days later, travelling the whole way on foot.

A campsite was found at Angle Pole Creek with evidence of a fire where mussels had been cooked.

"That's certainly where she had been assaulted by Danny and almost certainly where she died," Mr Longson said.

A pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a shovel were recovered from the car with blood stains on them that matched Ms Amos's DNA.

The jury was told that for Ferguson to be found guilty of murder it must be proved he intended to cause Ms Amos grievous bodily harm.

The trial continues.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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