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Murder accused pleads not guilty after body of Peter Hillier found in Eyre Peninsula holiday home

A man has been committed to stand trial charged over the murder of his New South Wales travel companion whose body was found in a holiday home on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

Today, in the Port Augusta Magistrates Court via video link and through his lawyer, Adam Troy Bennett pleaded not guilty to murder.

Police allege the 44-year-old murdered 64-year-old Peter Hillier and then called an ambulance for him a day later while the pair were holidaying in Venus Bay in May last year.

Police said at the time that Mr Bennett had told officers Mr Hillier was injured on May 28, after falling while drunk from their shared motorhome between Streaky Bay and Venus Bay, where they had been fishing.

He said he then called for an ambulance after discovering him not moving the next day.

Mr Hillier had been reported missing by his niece a week earlier, while Mr Bennett had been listed as a missing person since 2020.

In June, police located what they believed to be the murder weapon behind Dusty's Art Gallery in Poochera and allege Mr Hillier had been "viciously" beaten to the extent that surviving the injuries would not have been possible.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said it was clear Mr Hillier had been dead for some time before his acquaintance rang the police, and said there was no evidence to support the pair had travelled to Streaky Bay at all.

Both men were from Lake Haven, on the New South Wales Central Coast.

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