Ballina men Heath Cooper and Jeral Milner have both pleaded guilty to their alleged involvement in the death of Jesse Vilkelis-Curas in 2019.
Ballina men Heath Cooper and Jeral Milner have both pleaded guilty to their alleged involvement in the death of Jesse Vilkelis-Curas in 2019.

Men involved in tragic Ballina death enter pleas

Two Ballina men have pleaded guilty to their alleged involvement in the death of an East Lismore man in 2019.

Bryson Larsen-Tai, 18, Tyrese Hickling, 19, Heath Lyndan Cooper and Jeral Milner appeared before Lismore Local Court on Wednesday.

Police will allege the four men were involved in a fight near Hill and Park street, East Ballina on December 23, 2019 which resulted in the death of 24-year-old Jesse Vilkelis-Curas.

 

Jesse Marijonas Vilkelis-Curas died from injuries sustained in a fight in Ballina in 2019.
Jesse Marijonas Vilkelis-Curas died from injuries sustained in a fight in Ballina in 2019.

 

During the fight, police allege Mr Vilkelis-Curas suffered "catastrophic head injuries" and was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital before being taken off life-support on Boxing Day and died.

Only Mr Larsen-Tai has been charged with murder, as well as assault occasioning death, affray and aggravated robbery with wounding causing grievous bodily harm.

Both Mr Hickling and Milner are facing charges of affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of others and common assault.

Cooper has been charged with affray.

Milner and Cooper on Wednesday pleaded guilty to all charges against them and will have their matters adjourned to April 15.

 

Jeral Milner has pleaded guilty to common assault.
Jeral Milner has pleaded guilty to common assault.

 

Meanwhile Mr Larsen-Tai, who remains in custody, has also had his matter adjourned after the Director of Public Prosecutions prosecutor informed the court there had been delays with the case.

She said while the case conference had been held in December, the DPP had yet been "unable to consult with (Mr Vilkelis-Curas') family", which is required when plea negotiations are underway.

Mr Larsen-Tai will return to Lismore Local Court on March 10.

Mr Hickling is also yet to enter a plea and has had his matter adjourned to March 8 for further mention.

He remains bail refused after he was arrested for a separate matter of driving without a licence and driving with a middle range PCA.

He pleaded guilty to those two charges on Wednesday and will be sentenced for those matters on March 8.

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