Pakuranga Murder Trial: Jury retires for deliberations

UPDATED 3.46PM The jury in the trial of the man accused of killing a young Pakuranga mother of two last April has retired for deliberations.

In his summing up, Justice Matthew Muir instructed the jury to detach themselves from any emotions as they decide a verdict.

“A young woman has tragically and prematurely died as a result of a shotgun wound. I’m sure you found aspects of the 111 call…just as harrowing as I did.

“But the sympathy you undoubtedly feel for Chozyn must not have any place in your deliberations,” he said.

Chozyn Koroheke, 22, died from her injuries after being shot once in the abdomen at an address on Pakuranga Rd last year.

Turiarangi Tai, 22, is appearing in the High Court at Auckland on one charge of murder to which he has pleaded not guilty. Earlier in the trial he pleaded guilty to a related charge of unlawful use of a firearm.

A 25-year-old female is also appearing alongside Tai in the dock. Moheofo Manulevu is facing a charge of being an accessory after the fact of murder, accused of helping Tai evade capture after Ms Koroheke’s death. She has pleaded not guilty.

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Mark Williams told the jury the relationship between Tai and the victim was one characterised by violence and abuse at the hands of Tai.

However Defence counsel for Tai, Peter Kaye, told the court verbal spats between the two were nothing more than “hot air” in his closing address on Friday.

He told the jury Tai was undoubtedly guilty of shooting Ms Koroheke – and was at least guilty of manslaughter – but insisted his client did not do it with murderous intent.

After allegedly shooting Ms Koroheke, the court was told of how Tai immediately dropped the gun and dropped down to Ms Koroheke’s side to attempt first aid.

Mr Kaye asked the jury if those were actions were typical of someone who had intended to shoot someone.

“I suggest to you ladies and gentleman, they are not”

Justice Muir urged the jury to put aside any concerns about the potential consequences of a verdict on either Tai or Manulevu.

Tai must be found either guilty of murder or manslaughter. Justice Muir reminded the jury that if they do not return a guilty of murder verdict for Tai then Manulevu cannot be found guilty of accessory after the fact of murder but could be found guilty of being an accessory after the fact of a crime.