Sunday, April 14, 2024

Convicted killer dies in prison

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Counties Manukau Police detective inspector Mark Gutry holds a photo of Glenn McDonald during a press conference following a fatal shooting in Burswood in July, 2010. Times file photo Wayne Martin

An east Auckland man convicted more than a decade ago of murdering his flatmate has died in prison.

Glenn McDonald was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison after fatally shooting his flatmate Keith Kahi multiple times with a high-powered air rifle at their home in Tullis Place, Burswood, on July 4, 2010.

McDonald was serving his sentence at Kohuora Auckland South Corrections Facility which is managed by Serco.

A spokesperson for Serco says: “We can confirm a 54-year-old prisoner died on Tuesday morning [March 1].

“He was discovered by staff in his self-care residence unit.

“Ambulance and police were immediately notified and attended the prison.

“Next-of-kin have been informed and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.

“Counselling and other support has been made available to both prisoners and staff.”

The spokesperson says the coroner and the Corrections Inspectorate investigate all deaths in custody.

The Times¬†covered the fatal shooting of Kahi and McDonald’s subsequent trial and sentencing.

On the day of the killing, Kahi was moving his possessions out of the house he shared with McDonald when an altercation broke out between the two men.

Kahi left the flat and was unable to get back inside when he returned.

The 44-year-old removed a glass window pane and entered the flat.

A second argument then erupted between the pair.

McDonald, who was in the lounge, picked up his semi-automatic FX Monsoon air rifle and fired seven pellets into Kahi, who turned to run away.

Kahi ran outside and staggered toward the road, making a desperate call to emergency services on his mobile phone before collapsing.

A neighbour who found him on the footpath also phoned emergency services.

St John Ambulance paramedics rushed Kahi to Middlemore Hospital but he died from blood loss shortly after arriving.

McDonald drove away from the scene, leading police to hold a media conference at which they asked people who knew his whereabouts to come forward.

He turned himself in to police five days later near the Rainbow’s End theme park in Manukau.

Shortly afterward McDonald was charged with Kahi’s murder and pleaded not guilty.

His two-week jury trial was held before Justice Rebecca Ellis at the Auckland High Court.

McDonald’s defence counsel Mark Edgar argued his client shot Kahi in self-defence, while Crown prosecutor John Dixon said McDonald knew the air rifle could kill.

The jury rejected claims of self-defence and found McDonald guilty of murder.

At McDonald’s sentencing, Edgar told the judge his client was a generous person and had expressed remorse.

Justice Ellis said the facts showed McDonald and Kahi had a long-standing friendship which had deteriorated.

McDonald had become paranoid about his flatmate’s relationship with a woman, and believed they were planning to rob and harm him, she said.

The beliefs were the result of long-term methamphetamine use.

“Your mental state was bleak, angry and paranoid,” the judge told McDonald.

“You knew full well the gun was potentially lethal and must have intended to cause injury

“I do not accept Mr Kahi posed a real threat to you and your response was out of all proportion.”

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