An Adelaide court has heard that 43-year-old Lisa Lines, accused of attempting to murder her ex-partner, allegedly evaded Australian authorities by residing in countries without extradition treaties and purportedly engaged an undercover police officer as a hitman. Lines, extradited from Palau last week, and her former lover, Zachariah Bruckner, extradited from Brisbane, are both charged with the attempted murder of Jonathon Hawtin in 2017 at an Adelaide Hills property.
The alleged incident at Littlehampton left Hawtin tetraplegic after being struck in the neck with an axe. Bruckner also sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach. Adding to the case, 34-year-old Letitcia Fortune was arrested in Adelaide, accused of attempting to smother Hawtin with a pillow or bag at the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre while he was recovering.
Director of Public Prosecutions Martin Hinton told the court that Lines allegedly manipulated Fortune to carry out the act. Hinton detailed how Lines and Bruckner conspired to murder Hawtin since 2017, with Lines allegedly coordinating from overseas locations like Taiwan and Vanuatu.
The court heard that Lines and Bruckner unknowingly communicated with an undercover police officer while planning to “finish the job” they started in 2017. Lines’ lawyer, Craig Caldicott, stated she intends to plead not guilty, claiming she initially left Australia for a holiday and did not return due to alleged threats while abroad.
Magistrate John Wells denied Lines bail, citing her as an “unacceptable flight risk,” while Fortune’s bail application for home detention is under consideration. Jonathon Hawtin, speaking out for the first time since the extraditions, expressed relief and criticized certain media coverage as humiliating and misleading.
The case, which involves fresh calls for information by the police, is set to continue in court in May next year.