• NT Constable Zachary Rolfe will face a murder trial over the shooting death of 19-year-old Walpiri man Kumanjayi Walker on August 18. (ABC News/Grenville Turner)Source: ABC News/Grenville Turner
Fresh charges have been laid against Constable Zachary Rolfe, accused of murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Walpiri man, Kumanjayi Walker.
Douglas Smith

28 Jun 2021 - 2:29 PM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2021 - 3:37 PM

The NT police officer charged over the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker has been handed two fresh charges ahead of his trial for murder in Darwin next month. 

On Friday, the NT’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Jack Karczewski QC, tendered two fresh indictments against Constable Zachary Rolfe to the Supreme Court in Darwin.

Along with the initial charge of murder, Mr Rolfe is now facing two alternative charges of manslaughter and violent act causing death.

The fresh indictment on Mr Rolfe states that he “engaged in conduct that caused the death of (Kumanjayi) Walker, being reckless or negligent as to causing the death of (Kumanjayi) Walker.”

Further, the DPP charges that as an alternative to those two counts, Rolfe “engaged in conduct involving a violent act, to (Kumanjayi) Walker, namely discharging a firearm, and that conduct caused the death of (Kumanjayi) Walker.”

The new charges against Mr Rolfe have been confirmed by his counsel.

Alternative charges are also known as backup charges, which are presented to juries as an option; if a jury finds the accused not guilty of the main charge (murder in this case), the prosecutors ask the jury to find the accused guilty of one of the lesser charges.

In November 2019, Mr Rolfe fatally shot Mr Walker in the remote community of Yuendumu, about 270km northwest of Alice Springs.

He was one of four Immediate Response Team tactical officers deployed from Alice Springs to arrest Mr Walker on four charges including assaulting police and breaching the terms of his suspended sentence.

During the arrest, Mr Rolfe shot Mr Walker after reports he lunged at Mr Rolfe with a pair of scissors.

Mr Rolfe was charged with murder four days later.

Currently on bail in Canberra, Mr Rolfe has indicated he intends to plead not guilty when the trial commences on July 19.

A 12-person jury will be sworn in after one week of legal arguments.

NT Police Officer to stand trial for murder over death in custody of Kumanjayi Walker
NT police officer charged over the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker, will go to trial for murder in the Supreme Court.