A YOUNG man accused of murdering his 18-year-old girlfriend Emerald Wardle at Metford in June last year before sensationally confessing in court the next day will face a trial in the NSW Supreme Court.
Jordan Brodie Miller, 20, was represented by solicitor Gillian Jewison when he appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Parklea Correctional Centre.
He is accused of murdering Ms Wardle at a home in Galway Crescent in the early hours of June 20, 2020.
Ms Jewison said Mr Miller would be committed for trial on the murder charge, meaning he intends to plead not guilty.
"I wish to put on record that Mr Miller would be willing to plead guilty to manslaughter, but I understand that is not accepted by the Crown," Ms Jewison said.
The prosecution confirmed the plea would not be accepted and the matter would go to trial.
It is understood that the offer to plead guilty to manslaughter is on the basis that the defence say Mr Miller was suffering from a "substantial impairment by abnormality of mind", which restricted his capacity to either understand events, judge right from wrong or control himself.
The partial defence, if raised successfully, would reduce Mr Miller's liability for Ms Wardle's death from murder to manslaughter.
The matter was adjourned to Sydney Supreme Court on July 2 when it is expected that Mr Miller will be arraigned, plead not guilty to murder and get a trial date, likely in Newcastle and likely in 2022.
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Police say Mr Miller was arrested outside a home in Metford about 1.30am on June 20, 2020.
Inside the home, police found the body of Ms Wardle.
Police set up a crime scene and Port Stephens Hunter detectives, with assistance from the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad, launched an investigation.
The next day Mr Miller appeared in Newcastle Bail Court on the audio-visual link from the courthouse cells downstairs.
He did not apply for bail, but while Ms Jewison was in the middle of a discussion with registrar Steve Mannall about a possible suppression order Mr Miller suddenly blurted out: "I'm a murderer."
Mr Miller then launched into details about something that he said had occurred in the days before Ms Wardle's death.
"On Thursday night I stole Emerald's car while she was asleep," he said. "I drove to her favourite spot in Morpeth..."
The audio visual link was then cut off and Ms Jewison, pointing to what had just occurred, asked that Mr Miller undergo a mental health assessment once he was taken to a correctional centre.
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