The accused allegedly used an oak club to bludgeon the man and his 59 and 66-year-old parents, who had come to their son's aid. The murderer had been hiding in some shrubbery to catch his neighbours improperly disposing of garden waste, according to a district attorney.
The man admitted to the court that he committed the September 2008 murders, but claimed he never intended to kill anyone: "The three attacked me and I simply used the club to defend myself," he testified, saying he never thought they could die. "I thought they'd stand up and just have a headache."
Post-mortem examinations revealed, however, that the accused dealt heavy blows to his victims: the 59-year-old woman was reportedly difficult to identify, and the son suffered massive skull fractures. A passer-by discovered the three bodies.
Following the murders, the accused fled four kilometres from the scene of the crime where he slept under a bale of straw. He was eventually discovered by a farmer who turned him into police.
The conflict between the two parties began years earlier, when the family was renting property from the pensioner. When tensions escalated over branches and the disposal of garden waste, the family moved to another property in the garden colony. Problems persisted however, over a shared driveway and parking in the adjacent street.
The surviving family member are due to testify on April 8th. A verdict is not expected until the beginning of May.