Anthony Lentjes wasn’t too concerned when his friend and another man started placing bets over what type of ammunition German soldiers used in their Luger handguns during the second world war.
His friend Jarrod Frank claimed to have one answer, but another man – Scott Bury – said he knew the answer was 9mm because he’d once robbed a bank with that gun and that’s what he’d used.
The bets started with $100 and might have reached $500 at one point, before the knives came out.
Jarrod Frank fatally stabbed Bury in his home on 3 January 2018 in what he’s arguing was an act of self-defence.
Lentjes told Frank’s Victorian supreme court murder trial on Wednesday that the discussion over the Nazi guns began at a Money3 pawn shop in Bendigo and continued in the car on the way to Bury’s home. They were getting on fine, he said. “Nothing to worry about as far as I was concerned.”
They subsequently took turns to Google the answer before Frank turned to Bury and said “Hey bitch, here you go”, the court heard.
Bury then allegedly went to a kitchen drawer and pulled out two knives, telling Frank “You called the wrong bloke bitch in the wrong house”.
Lentjes said he didn’t feel good about the situation and told Frank they should leave.
“That was enough for me. I told [Bury] to put them away,” he told the jury on Wednesday.
Bury then struck Frank in the chest with one of the knives, Lentjes said. “That’s when I walked out.”
He said he heard banging and shouting inside the house as he waited by the car for Frank to follow him. Lentjes said Frank was followed out by Bury who then armed himself with a steel pole.
“He was just standing there with two knives and a steel bar,” Lentjes told the court.
The prosecutor, Grant Hayward, told the jury in his opening remarks on Tuesday that Frank and Bury had scuffled outside.
Bury suffered a fatal stab wound to his abdomen as well as other nonfatal injuries to his front, back and hands.
The defence barrister, David Gibson, said Frank accepted he had caused the fatal injury but was acting in self-defence. “You can be sure that Jarrod Frank regrets the death of Scott Bury as much as anyone. But that doesn’t make it a crime,” he said.
The trial is just the second to go ahead under the supreme court’s new Covid-safe model. Jurors are spread throughout the courtroom while lawyers have traded the bar table for the jury box.
The trial continues.