Alleged murderer Caroline Ruth Koenig killed partner for his money and stored his body in shed, court hears — (The Advertiser)

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The Advertiser –  Adelaide

From: adelaidenow

by: Chief Court Reporter Sean Fewster

January 30, 2013 4:20PM

A WOMAN poisoned her de facto partner with prescription drugs and stored his body in a shed for six months before dumping it on a roadside, a court has heard.

Prosecutors told the Supreme Court this afternoon that Caroline Ruth Koenig murdered her partner, Greg Ellbourn, because she wanted his money.

They alleged Koenig spent months emptying the truck driver’s bank accounts, and pretending he was still alive, while his body decomposed in their shed.

Koenig, 45, of Christie Downs, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.

Opening the trial, Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber, SC, said Mr Ellbourn’s body was found on Old Sellicks Hill Rd, Myponga, on November 11, 2011.

“The body had plainly been dumped there and the evidence is that it must have been done recently,” he said.

He said that, once Mr Ellbourn had been identified, police sought out Koenig.

“She told police that the relationship (with Mr Ellbourn) had ended on Mother’s Day 2011 (which was) Sunday, May 8,” he said.

“(That is) important because, on the prosecution case, by no later than May 9, Mr Ellbourn was dead.”

Mr Kimber said post-mortem examinations revealed the “likely cause” of Mr Ellbourn’s death was poisoning by the prescription anti-depressant called Endep.

He also had Valium in his system.

Those drugs had been prescribed to Koenig, but not to Mr Ellbourn,” he said.

“The body had been stored in the shed of their house for a considerable time while decomposing.

“It seems likely it was stored there from the time of death until it was dumped.”

Mr Kimber said multiple witnesses would give evidence that Koenig offered them $10,000 to either kill Mr Ellbourn or help her move his body.

One woman, he said, would testify that she personally saw the corpse when Koenig sought out her aid.

Mr Kimber said Koenig was the sole beneficiary of both Mr Ellbourn’s superannuation policy and its $250,000 “death payment”.

The majority of Mr Ellbourn’s wages were paid directly into an account in Koenig’s name.

Upon her arrest, she was found to be in possession of the sole bank card that could access his other, personal account.

Mr Kimber said that, between Mr Ellbourn’s death and the discovery of his body, Koenig called his two mobile phones multiple times.

“She did this to create a false belief he was still alive,” he said.

The trial, before Justice Richard White and in the absence of a jury, continues.