Jarrad Lovison’s body was found in the bush five weeks after he went missing in Southeast Australia two years ago. In a Melbourne court on Thursday, the mystery of his death finally started to unravel.
Three people have been arrested in connection to the 37-year-old’s murder. One of them, 25-year-old barista Samantha Guillerme, was granted bail in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Thursday after the court heard a taped call in which she appeared to admit she’d lured Lovison to meet her boyfriend and a second man to “have the shit kicked out of him.”
The two men—named as Guillerme’s boyfriend Jake Brown, 28, and mutual friend Andrew Price, 47—have also been charged with murder. The three were accused in court of conspiring to kill Lovison by bringing him to a quiet rural location and “either forcing, threatening or tricking him” into taking large quantities of the sedative date rape drug GHB.
“[The calls] indicated she did play a part in luring the deceased into the hands of those who killed him,” said Justice Paul Coghlan ahead of granting bail, according to local reports. “She anticipated he would be assaulted or potentially seriously assaulted but not murdered.”
Lovison, with his imposing 7-foot frame, was last seen riding a bike near Moe in the state of Victoria on April 16, 2019. Police allege that Price had been dating Lovison’s ex-partner, and prosecutors said that the murder took place amid “mounting tensions” between those two men. Guillerme and Brown appear to have been key to bringing Lovison to Price.
The day after Lovison was last seen in public, Guillerme posted a photo to her Instagram showing her dog in a forest with the caption: “Today’s adventure.” Five weeks later, Lovison’s body was found in the same area, and the court reportedly heard that Guillerme returned to the crime scene to help Price and Brown look for any nearby security cameras.
However, Justice Coghlan agreed to Guillerme’s bail on the basis that the presented evidence didn’t implicate her in murder. “If she can't be directly connected then it can’t be shown that she was party to an agreement that he would be abducted for the purpose of being killed,” he said.
Prosecutors argued that Guillerme could interfere with witnesses if released, citing another recording in which she told Brown and Price she could “stake out” the location of one alleged eyewitness. She was also reportedly caught saying that one witness was only alive because of “the heat” she and her co-accused were under from the cops.
Justice Coghlan ruled those threats to be “largely bravado” and went ahead in granting her bail. Guillerme will face court again November.