Tavake Pikula Denies Murder of Canberra artist

A Canberra artist’s family has sobbed in court as his alleged murderer pleaded not guilty over the 37-year-old man’s death.

Police allege Tavake Pikula, 31, shot Eden Waugh in the chest at his unit in Watson on the night of November 3 last year.

Mr Pikula this morning pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and aggravated burglary in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Mr Waugh’s parents, Elaine and David, travelled from the New South Wales north coast to be at Mr Pikula’s first court appearance.

Elaine Waugh sobbed during the short hearing and, flanked by detectives outside, said she was “very grateful to the police”.

Just moments earlier, a supporter of Mr Pikula threatened the media and knocked a microphone out of a reporter’s hand as he left the building.

Police yesterday announced the murder charge and thanked the public for their assistance during the 13-month investigation.

Detective Superintendent Scott Muller said officers had discovered an unregistered shotgun in the Queanbeyan River in August that they believed was related to the killing.

He said Mr Pikula had been brought from New South Wales to Canberra to answer the allegations.

Mr Pikula will face court again on February 16.