Laa Chol, who was killed after a clash between two groups of people at a Melbourne apartment rental on Saturday.
Laa Chol, who was killed after a clash between two groups of people at a Melbourne apartment rental on Saturday.

Party murder evidence includes ‘50 hours of CCTV’

THE teenage boy accused of stabbing to death a young woman at a party inside a Melbourne apartment over the weekend stared at his feet in the dock of a Victorian children's court on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, is charged with the murder of Laa Chol, 19, who was stabbed at the EQ Tower on A'Beckett St in the Melbourne CBD about 5.15am on Saturday.

During a brief appearance before a magistrate, the teen only glanced up to acknowledge family members inside the courtroom.

He nodded at his brother and his mother as he sat between two security guards. When asked if he had any questions, the teen shook his head at the magistrate but did not speak.

Prosecutors asked for more time to go over a large brief of evidence that includes "50 hours of CCTV", "a large number of witnesses" and "phone records".

Laa Chol died after an early morning row broke out in an apartment in Melbourne’s CBD.
Laa Chol died after an early morning row broke out in an apartment in Melbourne’s CBD.

The teen was remanded in custody and the matter was adjourned for 10 weeks.

Police from the homicide squad arrested and charged the teen on Monday after a two-day manhunt.

It's believed Ms Chol was stabbed at the high-rise tower popular with short-term renters after asking gatecrashers to leave a girl's night.

The victim's family rejected any notion the attack was gang-related.

"(She was) not a partygoer, she just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time," a family member told The Age.

Commander Stuart Bateson earlier told 3AW Ms Chol's death had nothing to do with Sudanese gang violence, as had been suggested by some politicians.

"When we start to make an issue that is bigger than what it is and when we start to racialise and we start to target this specific community, that leads to some unintended consequences," he said.

"That means a whole community feels vilified. They often feel frightened to go out in public in groups, they're shouted out."

Premier Daniel Andrews told ABC radio Ms Chol's family "deserve fundamentally better than what they've been given over these past 12 or 24 hours".

"I don't think her family would be getting very much comfort from this sort of discussion," he said of debates linking the death to gang violence.

Prosecutors on Tuesday initially requested 12 weeks to produce a brief of evidence but the magistrate told them that such a period of time was too lengthy.

They agreed on a 10-week adjournment for the matter to return to court on October 2.


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