20-year-old man Christopher John Jones charged over the murder of South Hedland man James Ackling

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Sarah StegerThe West Australian
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A man is escorted from Hedland Health Campus by police after a man was found dead at a South Hedland home early yesterday morning.
Camera IconA man is escorted from Hedland Health Campus by police after a man was found dead at a South Hedland home early yesterday morning. Credit: Sam Jones/Sam Jones

A 20-year-old man from Kiara has been charged with the murder of a father of four in South Hedland early yesterday morning.

Christopher John Jones fronted South Hedland Magistrate’s Court on one count of murder this morning, when he was remanded in custody.

Police will allege Mr Jones and his alleged victim, James Ackling, were involved in a violent altercation outside a home on Catamore Road about 1am on Friday.

Police forensics were on the scene of a suspicious death on Catamore Street in South Hedland
Camera IconPolice forensics were on the scene of a suspicious death on Catamore Street in South Hedland

During the alleged incident Mr Ackling sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Homicide detectives flew up from Perth early yesterday morning and arrived in Port Hedland about 8.30am, when they took over the investigation.

Forensics arrived at the scene ahead of them and set up in the driveway of the Catamore Road property.

A man is escorted from Hedland Health Campus by police after a man was found dead at a South Hedland home early yesterday morning.
Camera IconA man is escorted from Hedland Health Campus by police after a man was found dead at a South Hedland home early yesterday morning. Credit: Sam Jones/Sam Jones

Mr Jones, who police said was known to Mr Ackling, was seen being escorted by police from Hedland Health Campus and into the back of a wagon yesterday afternoon.

He was shirtless and became aggressive and yelled at awaiting media.

The death prompted the closure of liquor stores in the Pilbara town until 3pm on Friday, and triggered an outpouring of grief from friends and family of Mr Ackling.

Tributes have poured in for James Ackling following his death early this morning.
Camera IconTributes have poured in for James Ackling following his death early this morning. Credit: Facebook.

A girl, understood to be Mr Ackling’s daughter Shakirra, said: “Love and miss you my daddy rest in peace handsome.”

Another, Teegan Toomath, said she was sending “big hugs” and “love”, while Nikki Eslick told Mr Ackling’s partner Lorena that she was “Sending (you) my love rip cousin”.

“We are all thinking about you (and) the kids,” she added.

Another person said they were “gonna miss the stuff you share brother always a good laugh! R.I.P bro”.

Mr Jones is next due in Stirling Gardens Magistrate’s Court on September 30.

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