John Spencer White was arrested in Queensland in August last year and charged with murdering John Christianos, aged 40.
The body of the Greek Australian graphic designer was found in a wheelie bin 17 years after the man’s disappearance from Oakleigh South in 2001.
It was found by workers cleaning out a storage unit in 2018 after the Oakleigh South facility was sold and the owner was clearing the premises.
Court documents show that the body was lying head down in the bin, covered in soil. It was in a unit filled with Harry Potter merchandise and other memorabilia.
The bin was on the site even though White had stopped paying rent after he had stashed Christianos’ body.
The victim worked for White, painting images of sports stars. At one stage, both men lived on the site at the shop.
On June 11, 2001, the pair went drinking at a nearby hotel and returned to the shop but got into an argument.
Mr Christianos, armed with a knife, was shot by White, who fired his gun twice.
White, aged 62, was extradited from Noosa and charged with murder, however these charges have now been reduced to manslaughter. He appeared in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Monday for a committal hearing to determine if he should stand trial for murder but the case was adjourned before prosecutors agreed to drop the charges to manslaughter.
On Tuesday, White entered a plea to the new manslaughter charge, and is expected to return to court to apply for bail.