Murder accused acquitted after successfully arguing self defence
An Auckland man has been acquitted of murder after successfully arguing he put the alleged victim in a choke hold out of self defence.
Victor Graham Rubie denied murdering Tauailapalapa Mati, who was found unresponsive at an Otahuhu boarding house on July 18 last year.
For the past three weeks Rubie was on trial at the High Court at Auckland.
Mati's death followed a chain of events in which he was said to have been acting like a "tough drunk guy" at the boarding house.
The court heard that Killa Beez associate Wiremu Ormsby was texted a message by his brother to say Mati was bothering the boarding house inhabitants.
In response Ormsby armed himself with a metal pole and burst into the room Mati was sharing with Rubie, and attacked Mati.
Rubie told police that after witnessing the attack he checked on Mati to see if he was OK.
Mati was said to have responded by grabbing him, and the two struggled on the ground for several minutes, the court was told.
Rubie put Mati in a choke hold to restrain him, which his lawyers argued was self defence.
The jury agreed and Rubie was discharged.
Ormsby pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years and seven months imprisonment.