Chilling CCTV shows killer Justin Stein’s 21 minute shopping spree at Bunnings for sand to weigh down murdered schoolgirl Charlise Mutten’s body in a barrel

Chilling CCTV has emerged of schoolgirl murderer Justin Stein casually buying bags of sand at a suburban Bunnings to weigh down the barrel used to hide the girl’s body.

Stein, 33, has been found guilty of shooting Charlise Mutten in the face, with her body discovered dumped in a barrel near the Colo River area after a month-long trial in the NSW Supreme Court.

Charlise was the nine-year-old daughter of his then-fiancee Kallista Mutten 

In the CCTV tendered as evidence during the trial, Stein was captured entering Bunnings Marden Park in Sydney’s north-west at 5.27pm on January 13, 2022.

Wearing a surgical mask and dressed in dark shorts, a grey top, open-toed footwear and a bag slung over his shoulder, Stein was captured looking at his phone as he strolled through the store.

He’s seen speaking on his phone as he walked through the external nursery area before grabbing a trolley and heading to where bags of sand are kept.

Schoolgirl killer Justin Stein casually strolls around a Bunnings where he bought sand to weigh down a barrel containing his nine-year-old victim

Stein looks at his phone as he walks towards the Bunnings area to pick up the sand bags

Stein looks at his phone as he walks towards the Bunnings area to pick up the sand bags

Stein loaded five 20kg bags of sand onto a trolley and went back inside, there he spent several minutes walking through the aisles.

He eventually headed to the checkout to pay before leaving 21 minutes later at 5.38am.

 Charlise was shot in the face while she was on holiday with him and her mother Kallista Mutten, Stein’s then fiancée in Mount Wilson, to the north west of Sydney. 

The nine-year-old was shot and killed, and at Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park in Lower Portland, about 1.5 hours away from the estate owned by Stein’s family in Mount Wilson.

Stein had told Ms Mutten and his mother he was going out looking for Charlise on January 13 2022, but allegedly left Mount Wilson with a barrel under a tarp in the back of the ute, as well as towing his boat.

He went to Bunnings and bought five 20kg bags of sand, most of which was later found in the barrel with the girl’s body, the jury was told.

With the girl’s body allegedly stuffed in the barrel on the ute, Mr Stein stopped in at a 7/11 where he bought a can of coke, Snickers and a slushie before putting more than $120 of petrol in a boat he was towing.

The jury was told Mr Stein later Google searched ‘Colo River’ and allegedly dumped the barrel down an embankment before returning to Mount Wilson at 4.22am on January 15.

The barrel was found on January 18 within some foliage partway down the embankment, and a subsequent toxicology report showed there were traces of Stein’s schizophrenia medication in Charlise’s system.

Charlise’s body was found in a foetal position, upside down in the barrel weighted with sand. Her corpse was wrapped in bags and a tarpaulin and bound with tape.

Stein picked up five 20kg bags of sand and loaded them onto a trolley in the Bunnings in Sydney's north west

Stein picked up five 20kg bags of sand and loaded them onto a trolley in the Bunnings in Sydney’s north west

Stein heads to the checkout with the sand, which was later used to weigh down the barrel of his nine-year-old victim

Stein heads to the checkout with the sand, which was later used to weigh down the barrel of his nine-year-old victim

During the trial the jury was told after the shooting Stein had driven around Sydney for hours on the evening of January 13, 2022, into the early hours of the following morning with Charlise’s body in a barrel on the back of his ute. 

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay told the jury when police later recovered the barrel with Charlise’s body near the Colo River near the NSW Blue Mountains, there was 99kg of sand inside.   

The jury was told Mr Stein later Google searched ‘Colo River’ and allegedly dumped the barrel down an embankment before returning to Mount Wilson at 4.22am on January 15.

 When asked by his mother why he drove around Sydney for hours, Stein said he ‘f**king panicked’

On Wednesday morning Stein blinked rapidly and scratched his beard as the jury delivered its guilty verdict at 10.15am, which could see him spend life behind bars.

Stein pays for the bags of sand, which was used to weight down the barrel containing Charlise's body

Stein pays for the bags of sand, which was used to weight down the barrel containing Charlise’s body

Justin Stein has been on trial for a month accused of murdering nine-year-old Charlise Mutten

Justin Stein has been on trial for a month accused of murdering nine-year-old Charlise Mutten

During his trial Stein pleaded not guilty to Charlise’s murder, and lied that it was instead Ms Mutten, 40, who had shot her daughter in the NSW Blue Mountains.

The jury deliberated for 35 hours over eight days, having retired on Thursday, June 6 following a month-long trial, and returned their verdict at the start of the ninth day.

Seven minutes after the male foreperson of the jury read out the guilty verdict, Justice Helen Wilson formally convicted Stein of Charlise’s murder.

Stein, dressed in the same grey suit he’d worn throughout the trial, and wearing a cream shirt and navy blue tie, continued to look impassive apart from flushing a slight pink in the face. 

He claimed Ms Mutten tricked him into driving around with the child’s body inside a barrel in the back of his ute before he was forced to discard it on the banks of the Colo River.

But the jury did not believe him.

Stein exits the Bunnings store with the five bags of sand that he purchased during his visit

Stein exits the Bunnings store with the five bags of sand that he purchased during his visit 

Charlise Mutten was shot and killed while on holiday with her mother Kallista Mutten (above) who was then engaged to the accused, Justin Stein

Charlise Mutten was shot and killed while on holiday with her mother Kallista Mutten (above) who was then engaged to the accused, Justin Stein

Stein was also charged with interfering with a corpse. He admitted during the trial that he did dispose of Charlise’s body.

In closing submissions before they retired earlier this month, the jury was told a core issue in the case to deicide was not how the schoolgirl died, but who pulled the trigger.

Stein had claimed that after Ms Mutten shot her daughter, she secretly placed Charlise’s body in the barrel and secured it 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 she faced 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.

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

Charlise Mutten, 9, died from a gunshot wound to the face fired at close range in January 2022, after which her body was dumped in a barrel on a riverbank

Charlise Mutten, 9, died from a gunshot wound to the face fired at close range in January 2022, after which her body was dumped in a barrel on a riverbank 

Charlise's body was placed in a barrel weighted down with sand and placed on the back of Justin Stein's ute under a tarpaulin, driven to the Colo River and dumped

Charlise’s body was placed in a barrel weighted down with sand and placed on the back of Justin Stein’s ute under a tarpaulin, driven to the Colo River and dumped

‘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 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.

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 schoolgirl, who lived with her grandparents in Coolangatta, had flown south to spend time with her mother and her ‘stepdad’, Justin Stein when the tragedy occurred

A post mortem found Charlise had traces of anti-psychotic prescription drug Quetiapine – aka Seroquel – in her system. Stein took the drug 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, and 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 testified that when he became aware Charlise’s body was in a barrel on the back of his ute, he panicked and ultimately disposed of it.

Stein will be sentenced on August 23. 

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