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Rex Martinich

Woodchipper murder followed 'surprise' tree clearing

The witness said she never asked Sharon Graham to clear trees on her property. (Samantha Manchee/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

A widow has told a Queensland jury a woman accused of planning a murder via woodchipper turned up to her property for a "surprise" tree clearing.

Sharon Graham, 62, is on trial in Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the murder of her ex-partner, Bruce James Saunders, 53, at a property near Gympie on November 12, 2017.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings previously told the jury Graham was an hour's drive away from the scene when Mr Saunders was intentionally killed but she had procured her new lover, Gregory Lee Roser, to carry out the murder.

Peter John Koenig is due to testify that he saw Mr Roser repeatedly hit Mr Saunders in the head with a metal pipe before his body was partially fed into a woodchipper to create the appearance of an accidental death.

On Tuesday, Sharon Beighton told the jury she had been friends with Graham for about eight years in October 2017.

Her husband had recently died and she had been planning to sell her house and land at Goomboorian, about 70 kilometres north of the Sunshine Coast.

Ms Beighton said she had talked to a real estate agent about selling her land but was told it was "not worth very much with all the vegetation".

She said Mr Saunders, Mr Koenig and Mr Roser all attended her property on multiple weekends, making repeat trips due to their woodchipper breaking down and being replaced.

Graham also showed up one weekend, she said.

"When I got home, there were trees cut down just inside my gate," Ms Beighton said.

"I was shocked to see that and asked 'What are you doing?'' and Ms Graham said 'Surprise, we're cutting the trees down so you'll get a bit more for your property'.

"We had talked about how my property was worth more than was being offered but I never asked Ms Graham to cut down any trees."

On a subsequent weekend, when Graham was not at the property, Ms Beighton said she told the three men to pack up and go home before she took tablets for a headache and fell asleep until about 7.30pm.

"I saw Mr Roser and Mr Koenig coming into the verandah," Ms Beighton said.

"Mr Koenig looked pretty shaken up ... he said there had been a terrible accident.

"Mr Roser said 'I tried to save him, I tried to pull him out'."

The prosecution has alleged Graham plotted to kill Mr Saunders in order to inherit his house, car and more than $800,000 in superannuation and life insurance.

Ms Beighton testified that Mr Saunders turned down Graham's request to take her name out of his will as "they were no longer a couple".

"Mr Saunders said it was his will and he wanted Sharon looked after if anything happened to him," Ms Beighton said.

The trial is due to run for another 15 hearing days before Justice Peter Callaghan.

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