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An elderly man accused of murdering his tenant will be released on bail with a monitoring device to ensure he does not visit a forest where police believe the body is buried.
However, he denies any involvement in Jarvis’ death and has been held in prison since being arrested in November last year.
The two accused men are yet to be committed to trial in the Supreme Court over the alleged murder, with the case progressing through the magistrates court’s committal stream.
Johnson applied for bail last month as he claimed police did not have enough evidence to keep him in jail.
Johnson had lodged an application with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have Jarvis evicted, with a hearing set down for the day after police allege he was murdered.
Prosecutors allege Johnson and Fenwick murdered Jarvis in the latter’s driveway by first hitting him in the head with an imitation firearm.
The two men then allegedly pinned Jarvis down to the ground and hit him in the head again, this time with a baseball bat.
Johnson is accused of burying the 38-year-old man in Framlingham Forest, in southwest Victoria, and then driving Jarvis’ car to Thunder Point coastal lookout before allegedly setting it on fire.
Prosecutors further claim Johnson tried to cover up the crime scene by going over the driveway with a tractor, hours after the alleged killing.
Fenwick allegedly dobbed Johnson into police and has taken detectives to the forest after he told them Jarvis’ body was buried there, the court was told.
But police are yet to dig for Jarvis’ remains as the land is owned by an Indigenous trust and negotiations with owners are ongoing.
Justice John Champion granted Johnson bail on Friday with a $500,000 surety, after he found he would be vulnerable if he remained in jail.
He will soon be allowed to return to his wife Marilyn and live at their 1.79-hectare property in Wangoom, half of which was offered to the court as surety.
However, the judge imposed strict bail conditions after finding there was a chance Johnson may obstruct the course of justice or interfere with witnesses in the case.
He is banned from going within five kilometres of Framlingham Forest and will be fitted with a GPS ankle monitoring device to allow police to track his movements, to prevent him from interfering with the potential crime scene.
He must abide by a curfew between 9pm to 6am and cannot speak to his co-accused, directly or indirectly, nor any prosecution witnesses save for his wife Marilyn.
Johnson was taken back into custody and will be released from prison once he is fitted with the monitoring device.