The jury in the murder trial of Justin Stein has retired to decided whether or not the 34-year-old is guilty of murdering schoolgirl Charlise Mutten , 9, by shooting her in the face.

In closing submissions on Thursday, the jury was told the issue in the case is not how the schoolgirl died but who pulled the trigger.

Justin Stein contends that Charlise’s mother Kallista Mutten shot and killed her own daughter around 9pm on January 12, 2022.

The prosecution’s case is that Stein was the ‘last person’ to see Charlise and had the opportunity to kill her between 7.16pm on January 11 and 10.06am on January 12 

Charlise’s body was found near the Colo River, northwest of Sydney, on January 18, 2022 with gunshot wounds to her lower back and face, with the latter being the shot that killed her.

Stein, 33, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Charlise, claiming he heard Ms Mutten shooting her daughter, who cried out his name and then ‘Mummy, no’ before falling to the ground at the Stein family property, Wildenstein.

Justice Helen Wilson concluded her instructions and summation of the evidence in the NSW Supreme Court trial on Thursday and sent the jury out to consider its verdict.

Justin Stein has been on trial for four weeks for the alleged murder of Charlise Mutten, 9, who died from a gunshot wound to the face in January 2022 while on holiday with her mother

Justin Stein has been on trial for four weeks for the alleged murder of Charlise Mutten, 9, who died from a gunshot wound to the face in January 2022 while on holiday with her mother 

Justice Helen Wilson told jurors that if they believed Kallista Mutten (above) shot her daughter Charlise, then they must find Justin Stein not guilty

Justice Helen Wilson told jurors that if they believed Kallista Mutten (above) shot her daughter Charlise, then they must find Justin Stein not guilty

It could take the 12 men and women days or just hours to arrive at a unanimous verdict following a trial that has run for two weeks less than expected.

Stein admitted dumping Charlise’s body, but he said Ms Mutten shot her daughter and placed her body in a barrel on the back of his ute without his knowledge.

Ms Mutten denied having any involvement in her daughter’s death and broke down in tears when faced with the accusation in court.

Many of the facts of the case were not in dispute, including that Charlise died from gunshot wounds she sustained at or near a Mount Wilson estate owned by Stein’s mother, the jury heard.

‘The issue is not how Charlise died, it’s who pulled the trigger,’ Justice Wilson said.

The judge told jurors that if they found there was a reasonable possibility that Ms Mutten shot her own daughter, they must find Stein not guilty.

Schoolgirl Charlise Mutten was excited to go on a holiday with her mother, but the nine-year-old never made it back home after being shot twice and her body dumped in a barrel

Schoolgirl Charlise Mutten was excited to go on a holiday with her mother, but the nine-year-old never made it back home after being shot twice and her body dumped in a barrel 

‘The Crown has no evidence of someone who saw the shooting of Charlise by the accused,’ she said.

Stein appeared as the defence’s only witness in the trial, spending two days going over his version of events at the start of the week.

At the time of her death, Charlise had been visiting her mother and Stein from Queensland, where she lived with her grandparents.

Charlise stayed at Stein’s mother’s Sydney house, then with Ms Mutten and Stein – who were engaged at the time, with the little girl calling the accused ‘Daddy’.

They divided their time between Wildenstein and a cabin at the Riviera Ski Gardens at Lower Portland, the trial was told.

Charlise spent the night of January 11 alone with Stein at Mount Wilson, while her mother remained at the cabin, which is when prosecutors argued he killed her.

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC said it was open for the jury to find Stein had drugged and fatally shot Charlise.

The Stein family property at Mount Wilson (above) where prosecutors allege Stein killed Charlise and then disposed of the schoolgirl's body  60kms away in a barel on a riverbank

The Stein family property at Mount Wilson (above) where prosecutors allege Stein killed Charlise and then disposed of the schoolgirl’s body  60kms away in a barel on a riverbank

The girl was placed in the barrel seen under a tarpaulin on the back of Mr Stein's ute

Charlise Mutten (above) was shot dead and her body was placed in the barrel

Charlise Mutten (right) was shot dead and her body was placed in the barrel seen under a tarpaulin on the back of Stein’s ute (left) and dumped on the Colo River

A post mortem found Charlise had traces in her body of quetiapine, the ingredient in anti-psychotic prescription drug Seroquel, which Stein took for his schizophrenia.

The jury heard an adult dose of the drug would have a profound sedative effect on a child, but that it was difficult to tell how much Charlise had been given.

Mr McKay said a possible motive was that Stein killed Charlise when she became sick after he gave her the drug.

Stein denied giving Charlise the medication, instead claiming that she was shot by Ms Mutten on the evening of January 12.

He said he had gone along with a plan to cover up the murder, including lying to police about leaving the girl in the care of an imaginary woman who was valuing items at the Mount Wilson estate.

Stein claimed he was unaware Charlise’s body was in a barrel on the back of his ute until the next day and that he panicked and ultimately disposed of her remains when he found out.

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