Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in an allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek. PHOTO: Channel 9
Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in an allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek. PHOTO: Channel 9

Next step in cult leader murder court case

The teenager accused of murdering a former cult leader in Kyogle has now had his charges certified before the court.

The now 18-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with murder, inappropriately interfering with a corpse and destroying property.

At age 17, the teen was arrested in August following an investigation into a house fire at Smiths Creek on August 16.

Emergency crews had been called to reports of a fire at a property on Smiths Creek Rd, Smiths Creek, west of Kyogle.

It is alleged the body of 64-year-old Chen Czarnecki - also known as Scott - was found in the remnants of the home, according to court documents.

Mr Czarnecki was a former leader of the secretive religious sect Twelve Tribes in Picton, which was known for its harsh disciplining of young children.

Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek. PHOTO: Channel 9
Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek. PHOTO: Channel 9

He had reportedly moved to northern NSW after leaving the controversial sect about a decade ago.

The teen appeared via video link in Lismore Children's Court on Friday.

The prosecutor told the court the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will be prosecuting the accused and she presented signed copies of the charge certificates to Magistrate Paul McMahon.

She said a case conference had been organised for April 29 but she requested the next court mention be set for a "longer date than usual".

"The defence is seeking a report from a specialist (which) may take some time," she said.

Mr McMahon said he noted "the plans for further investigation on behalf of the young person" and adjourned the matter to May 28.

The teen is also charged with a separate apprehended violence order, which is not connected to the alleged murder of Mr Czarnecki.

Mr MacMahon ordered the interim AVO to continue until the teen's next court appearance.

The teen, who remains in custody, is yet to enter any formal pleas to any of his charges and did not apply for bail on Friday.


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