Teen arrested at airport charged over killing of Declan Cutler

Teen arrested at airport charged over killing of Declan Cutler

August 10, 2022

An eighth teenager has been charged with murder, months after a 16-year-old was allegedly chased down and attacked outside a Melbourne house party.

Homicide detectives arrested the boy at Melbourne Airport, taking him into custody early on Wednesday.

Declan Cutler was beaten and fatally stabbed.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fronted a Children’s Court hours later, where a magistrate heard it was the boy’s first time in police custody. Flanked by three police officers, he sat in handcuffs during the brief hearing, with his mother watching nearby. The boy made no application for bail and was remanded in custody to reappear next month.

His arrest comes five months after eight teenagers allegedly chased and attacked Declan Cutler, a 16-year-old from Reservoir, following a house party at Coburg North.

The court heard that while there were no witnesses to the incident, a friend of Declan’s was scheduled to give evidence at a compulsory examination hearing, to provide details about the teen’s movements before he died.

Police had been searching for an eighth alleged killer since March, after the knife attack was captured on CCTV from a nearby home.

The street where Declan Cutler died on March 13.Credit:Penny Stephens

The seven other teens – aged 13 to 17 – are all also charged with murder and remain in custody. Two of them are brothers.

Police previously revealed Declan had been at a house party when a group of youths in a dark-coloured car chased him along Elizabeth Street in Coburg North about 2.30am on March 13.

Declan – known as DJay to his friends – was beaten and fatally stabbed. He died at the scene.

All eight teens are accused of beating and stabbing the teenager in the street.

At the time of the alleged gang attack, senior police described it as one of the most brutal killings they had seen.

It prompted an outpouring of grief from local teens, with the words “DJay’s world” and other tributes spray-painted around the nearby area.

Bunches of flowers were left on the nature strip under a tree where the teenager died.

During an earlier court hearing, a magistrate was told knives found in a burnt-out car in the car park of a Meadow Heights mosque were to be forensically examined as homicide detectives believed they were the weapons used in the killing.

Graffiti tributes at the scene.Credit:Penny Stephens

Investigators also believed the killers spent the afternoon of March 13 at Melbourne fast food outlets and the Riversdale Shopping Centre in Tarneit, before travelling to Coburg North in a stolen Mazda hatchback.

Court documents show investigators obtained CCTV footage of the Mazda “pursuing” the victim as he ran before he was attacked.

The matter is due to return to court in September. Those charged cannot be identified because of their age.

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