Prosecutors have abandoned murder accessory charges against four people accused of helping a Warrawong man avoid police arrest in the wake of a high-speed car crash that killed Illawarra father Daniel Merrett.
Maddison Maureen Day, 23, Holy Powers, 26, Matthew James Ryan, 30, and Mariah Shea Powell, 27, were each arrested last year amid allegations they helped one of Mr Merrett's alleged killers, Darren Butler, while he was on the run from police.
Mr Merrett died when the Ford Territory he was a passenger in crashed into a fuel tanker in the early hours of May 18 last year.
It is alleged the occupants of the Territory were fleeing from a Toyota Corolla being driven by Butler and containing Andrew Russell and another co-accused, Holly Green. It is alleged Russell was firing shots at the Territory moments before the crash.
Day, Powers, Ryan and Powell were originally charged with being accessories after the fact to murder - an offence which carries up to 25 years' prison upon conviction.
However, a lawyer representing the Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday withdrew the accessory after the fact to murder charge against the four.
It was replaced with the lesser charge of hindering the apprehension of a person who committed a serious offence - a charge which carries a maximum prison term of seven years.
It is alleged Day, Powers, Ryan and Powell provided individual assistance to Butler in the days after Mr Merrett's death by booking accomodation for him and providing him with transport so he could avoid police.
It is alleged Butler stole an associate's Nissan Navara on May 20 and he and Green fled to Victoria for a short time.
However, Butler was arrested 10 days later after returning to the Illawarra. He and Russell are both facing murder charges over Mr Merrett's death.
In court on Wednesday, prosecutors laid additional charges against both men: Butler is facing three dangerous driving offences and Russell has been hit with a charge of firing a firearm in a public place. All the additional charges stem from the men's alleged actions in the minutes before the fatal crash.
Meanwhile, prosecutors also altered the charges against Green, withdrawing a charge of armed robbery and replacing it with charges of hindering both Butler and Russell's arrests.
Powers, Green and Day are currently on conditional Supreme Court bail, while Butler, Russell, Ryan and Powell remain in custody.
Formal negotiations will take place between the DPP and lawyers representing all seven co-accused before their matters return in April.