CHARGES against three men accused of killing Wayne Dover outside a Maroochydore nightclub have been downgraded from murder to manslaughter.
After a two-day committal hearing, Maroochydore magistrate Cliff Taylor found there was not enough evidence to commit Matthew John Hill, 28, Wade Leigh Goldsworthy, 28, and Blake Nathan Goldsworthy, 25, to trial for Mr Dover's murder.
However, he was satisfied there was enough evidence for the men to each answer a charge of manslaughter.
The three men were charged over the death of the 45-year-old AFL coach and businessman after an altercation outside The Factory on November 30 last year.
Lawyer Noel Woodall had argued that there was insufficient evidence for his client, Mr Hill, to stand trial over Mr Dover's death.
Mr Woodall submitted that his client had been sitting down, had run towards the altercation, fallen over, and then been helped away.
No witnesses had identified Mr Hill kicking or punching Mr Dover, he said.
Simon Lewis, representing the Goldsworthy brothers, submitted there was no evidence of any prior intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Dover.
Witnesses gave varying accounts of what they saw outside the nightclub.
Nathaniel James Bierton, 33, said he saw three men attacking a man on the ground.
"I never saw the initial attack. What I saw was three guys stomping on his head," he said.
Kirk Robinson, 33, saw three bodies "dropping" down as he left the nightclub but agreed under cross-examination that they had "possibly" been involved in CPR.
However, under re-examination, Mr Robinson said he had thought the men had been leading with an elbow, a knee or a punch.
The court heard that Mr Dover had died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage - bleeding to the brain - caused by a traumatic laceration of the vertebral artery in the neck.
Professor Peter Ellis said the lacerated artery was probably caused by blunt force trauma.
Prof Ellis said a vertebral artery could be lacerated if someone fell and clipped their head on a table, but he also said Mr Dover's injuries were consistent with being punched, kicked or stomped upon.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Phillip Stephens suggested there was enough evidence for the men to stand trial for manslaughter, if not murder.
The three men declined to speak when Mr Taylor asked if they had anything to say.
The Goldsworthys will remain in custody but will apply for bail.
Mr Hill had already been granted bail recently.
The trio will face trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court on a date to be fixed.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.