The recording of evidence in a Wangaratta murder trial due to take place next week may be delayed because the prosecutor and defence barrister both live in Melbourne's coronavirus hot spot suburbs.
Phillip Dunn, 60, and Darcy McNamara, 44, allegedly killed Wangaratta man Nathan Day back in July 2018.
Both pleaded not guilty to murder when they faced a committal hearing last year, but the Supreme Court heard on Monday that McNamara now intends to plead guilty to a charge when his case is eventually heard following coronavirus delays.
Three witnesses who live in Wangaratta were scheduled to prerecord their evidence next week, to save them travelling to Melbourne for a trial later in the year.
Crown prosecutor John Dickie said he is now unsure if witness support workers, based in Melbourne, will be able to travel up - and even himself.
"There are issues with myself attending because of the restrictions of COVID-19 because of where I live, I'm in one of those lockdown suburbs," he said.
"There is just so much uncertainty.
"We hoped things would settle down, we hoped the dates would be fine, but the issue is that here we are - I'm in lockdown, potentially other suburbs will be in lockdown."
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He said it was important for witness support workers to be present.
"Even as a lawyer I'm struggling sometimes to understand the rules. You can travel for work, if you must travel for work," Mr Dickie said.
"I certainly don't want to delay the recording of this evidence if it can be avoided.
"On the other hand, some of it is fairly significant evidence and I don't want to be in a position where that evidence is being led where the witnesses are not properly supported."
Justice Michael Croucher said there would be an exception for lawyers and other staff, even those from Melbourne's hot spot suburbs, to travel to Wangaratta for work
Dunn's barrister Diana Price said she also lived in a hotspot suburb and was willing to travel for work if required, but was unsure if Wangaratta court would be happy to have them there, after the building was temporarily shut down last week when another man from a hotspot suburb attended the courthouse for his own case.
"Wangaratta court may have some reluctance about hosting a large group of Melburnians," she said.
"Mr Dunn is anxious that the matter be heard and determined as soon as possible, but he also appreciates that it needs to be done right."
She said she did not have much optimism that the recording of evidence would take place next week.
The murder case was adjourned for discussions to continue on Thursday.