A young man involved in the Grindr kidnapping and death of Canberra man Peter Keeley has had his murder charges dropped.
The 51-year-old died after being lured into bushland near the NSW coastal town of Broulee on February 2, 2020, where three then-17-year-olds assaulted him.
Two of the young males were later charged with his murder.
But NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Walton ruled at that time he could not conclude Keeley died from craniofacial trauma, as the prosecution alleged.
He said he could rule out that the 56-year-old died from the methylamphetamine in his system.
However while the pair dodged the murder charges, they did each plead guilty to an aggravated kidnapping charge, admitting they detained him with the intention of occasioning actual bodily harm.
Third teen’s murder charge dropped over Peter Keeley killing
On Tuesday (July 19), the third teenager appeared in court and also pleaded guilty to an aggravated kidnapping charge, ABC News reported.
He admitted he and the other two males detained Keeley.
However, the judge also dropped the third accused’s murder charge in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The teenager has officially entered a guilty plea for aggravated kidnapping. He and his co-accused will be sentenced next month.
Justice Walton set out a date of August 24 for sentencing for the trio, but the court heard scheduling issues may cause delays.
The judge’s earlier ruling stated the first teenager used gay app Grindr to “lure” Keeley from Canberra to Broulee with the “promise of a sexual encounter”.
The teen then discussed with the second accused a plan to tie up and bash Keeley in the bushland.
The third boy has also pleaded guilty to playing a role in the kidnapping plot.
Peter Keeley and one of the teenagers met up and drove into bushland where the two others came out of the bushes.
Justice Walton said Peter Keeley’s wrists and ankles were tied, his mouth was covered with packing tape and he was assaulted. His body was later found by a passerby.
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