A Cairns Supreme Court jury today heard how New Zealand national Campbell Paterson was stabbed in the neck, dismembered and stuffed into a chilly bin for disposal.
The man accused of his murder, David Leslie Hickson, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to interfering with a corpse.
The Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees told the jury in his opening address they would hear a police interview where the accused admits to killing Mr Paterson in self-defence.
Mr Rees told the jury Hickson said: "We both sort of reached for something at the same time and he was slower than me I guess."
He said Hickson also told police that he tried to put the body in the chilly bin but when it didn't fit he cut off Mr Paterson's legs with a saw he borrowed from his neighbour.
Hickson's girlfriend at the time of the alleged murder, Elizabeth Addo, told the court under the defence's questioning that Hickson was worried a man named Kadro was going to kill him.
The defence also asked if she thought Paterson was an "enforcer" for Kadro.
Ms Addo said she didn't know.
The Crown will close their case tomorrow and the defence will begin its case tomorrow afternoon.
The murder is thought to have taken place between November 5 and 14, 2014.