VICTIM: Jemal Lawton, who was hit by a car.
VICTIM: Jemal Lawton, who was hit by a car. Contributed

FIRST VICTIM: Attempted murderer has killed before

IT'S not the first time Noa Ronnie Etheridge has had blood on his hands.

Etheridge was yesterday found guilty of attempting to murder Kerry Gittins after attacking her skull with a hammer, penetrating brain matter.

Four years earlier, he killed 17-year-old Jemal Lawton by running him over on Rockonia Rd at 2am on March 29, 2014.

Etheridge, 21, cried as he was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court in October, 2015, to six years' imprisonment with parole eligibility after two years after pleading guilty to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and leaving the scene.

The court heard Etheridge's licence was disqualified for two years a month before he hit Jemal on the corner of Rockonia Rd and Stack St. The court was told during his sentencing Etheridge had been travelling up to 82km/h when the incident happened, and left the scene.

He was driving a mechanically defective car which belonged to somebody else, he was speeding and he had been drinking on the night before.

A passenger described loud music playing, Etheridge's head out the window, speeding, yelling, screaming and then seeing a body hit the windscreen but the vehicle not stopping and others saying not to call for an ambulance.

Jemal suffered critical injuries and his life support was turned off at the Royal Brisbane Hospital on April 8, 2014.

Etheridge's legal team reported him to police two days after the incident.

Prosecutor Joshua Phillips said Etheridge covered the damaged car with a tarpaulin and removed the number plates.


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