A Co Down man has denied murdering a man at a house party whose body was later found in the boot of an abandoned car.
Wesley Harry Vance, 27, from Church Gate Studios in Comber, Co Down, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court for a first arraignment hearing on Friday.
He pleaded “not guilty” to murdering Kyle Neil at a house in Mill Street, Comber, on April 12, 2015.
Mr Neil sustained multiple knife wounds in the attack, described by police at the time as “frenzied”.
His remains were then placed in the boot of a Ford Fiesta car.
A defence barrister told the court: “He does not dispute that he caused Mr Neil’s death and it is his case that he acted in self defence which he made out at his police interviews.”
Co-accused Stephanie Todd, 26 and from Russell Court, Belfast, was charged with assisting offenders by driving the Fiesta car with Mr Neil’s body in the boot from Comber to Belfast, and of driving with excess alcohol.
She pleaded “not guilty” to both charges.
Mr Justice Treacy fixed the trial date for May 16.
It is expected to last three weeks.
There were shouts from the public gallery as Vance was led away in handcuffs from the court by prison officers.