A Queensland court heard that Gregory Lee Roser couldn’t sleep because he kept picturing Bruce Saunders’ legs being chopped up in a woodchipper.
Now 63 years old, Roser told police he “felt guilty” for Saunders’ death in November 2017 while working on a farm north of Brisbane. In an interview with police in 2018 that was aired in court on Tuesday, Roser said it was “not in his character” to feed his friend into the chipper.
Crown claims She wanted to collect on her ex-partner Saunders’ $750,000 life insurance policy, so Sharon Graham persuaded Roser and another boyfriend, Peter Koenig, to murder him and make it appear like an accident. After being charged with murder, Roser has maintained his innocence.
A Brisbane supreme court jury has seen footage of Saunders’ legs sticking out of the chipper on the Goomboorian farm near Gympie after he and Roser and Koenig had been removing trees.
After the “accident,” Roser informed authorities he could not shake the picture, as seen in a videotaped interview from January 2018.
In the clip seen on Tuesday, he says, “All I could see, I saw them all the time, are just these legs poking out of the machine.”
A lot of sleepless nights have been caused by it for me. I can’t stop picturing him sitting in the cab of that murder machine. When I do wake up, I find it impossible to fall back to sleep.
I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before, and I was pretty disturbed about it,” he stated. I was given significant autonomy over these systems and thus had a strong sense of responsibility.
Duhig enquired, “How so?”
In response, Roser said, “Just that guy [Saunders] wouldn’t listen,” and he went on to say that Saunders had been careless around the chipper and had disregarded his warnings.
However, Duhig revealed to Roser that Saunders had been involved in a fight behind the chipper and had been afterward put into the machine.
“Well, I didn’t do that,” Roser answered. For me, being mean to others goes against my very nature.
Do you throw him in the chipper?” Duhig inquired. Were you responsible for Bruce’s death?
Roser emphatically denied ever saying such a thing.
Upon being questioned if Koenig was capable of carrying it out, Roser replied, “Peter wouldn’t do it – no way. Peter is a humble and affable individual. Logic dictates that we not take that action. We’re all buddies here. We have zero complaints about Bruce.
Roser denied that there was an altercation with Saunders, saying, “I never spoke a negative word to Bruce, I was simply telling him what he was doing wrong with the chipper.”
God forbid, there was never any sort of altercation between us. When I got down from up there, all I could see were those legs in there; it’s the truth. The first thing I did was grasp onto his feet.
Saunders’s body was “locked in,” according to Roser, who claims he tried to pull hard enough to save him.
The court heard that when Koenig turned off the machine, he was still clinging to Saunders’ ankles.
When police officers removed the legs, according to Duhig, “that’s all that there was,” the legs came right out of the chipper.
While on the site, Roser was accused of taking Saunders’ legs out of the chipper and putting them back in before the police arrived.
Roser responded, “Not that I know of, no, I don’t think Koenig could have done it.”
One of my friends playing with a human limb that had been cut and thrown into the back of a woodchipper. That’s something I’d remember,” Duhig said.
On Wednesday, the trial will continue.
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