Connor Whitehead shooting: Man charged with murder can now be named after suppression lapses

One of the men charged with murdering Christchurch schoolboy Connor Whitehead can now be named.

He is Joshua David Craig Smith, a 36-year-old concrete worker from Burnside.

His alleged co-offender cannot be named until at least February buta woman accused of helping him can now be identified as Kelly Archbold, 23.

Connor, 16, was fatally shot outside a party in the suburb of Casebrook on November 5.

Smith and another 43-year-old man were later charged with murder.

Three others face charges of being accessories after the fact to the alleged crime.

Police say they helped the two suspects evade arrest in the hours and days after what was described asa “brutal, senseless” attack.

Four of the alleged offenders were all granted interim name suppression after their initial court appearances.

Smithand Archbold did not make further applications for suppression and the order prohibiting the publication of their names lapsed at 5pm today.

Archbold is accused of assisting the 43-year-old to enable him to avoid arrest, knowing he had been a party to Connor’s death.

The 43-year-old alleged murderer and a woman charged with trying to help Smith avoid arrest are continuing their fight for suppression.

Their suppression is in place until February when afurther hearing will be held on the matter.

The fifth alleged offender is Nicholas Mckay, 46.

His name suppression lapsed late last month.

McKay is also facing a charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Police say the Spencerville forklift driver “comforted” the 43-year-old by allowing him to stay at his address overnight in order to enable him to avoid arrest after the killing.

All five defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges and will stand in the High Court at Christchurch in 2023.

The trial is expected to go for five weeks.

The alleged murderers remain in custody.

However, Justice Cameron Mander granted the other three bail with strict conditions.

A source said Connor did not know any of the people charged in relation to his death.

He was simply in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.

His devastated family spoke to media at a press conference last month.

His parents Cheryl Merrin and James Whitehead said they were “shocked and heartbroken” at his “senseless and violent” death.

“He was at a party with his friends. He should have been safe and he should be home with us,” his father said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Nicola Reeves, who is leading Operation Stack, the massive police inquiry into the case, said the killing has had devastating effects.

“Connor had his whole life ahead of him and this brutal and senseless incident has robbed that from him and his family,” she said.

Reeves earlier said inquiries are ongoing.

• Anyone with information that may assist should contact police on 105 and quote event number P048523046.


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