Victim's family hurl abuse at murder accused

The distressed family of a West Auckland man shot dead before Christmas had to be thrown out of court after they swore at the alleged killer and told him "he was dead".

Caleb Eli Afamasaga, 24, appeared in the Waitakere District Court yesterday charged with the murder of Daniel Turner.

Afamasaga, a tattooist understood to be a member of the King Cobra gang, was also charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and threatening to kill in relation to attacks on two other people at the time Turner died.

Two of his associates, Joshua Makalima, 22, and Kevin Terrence Banaba, 24, were charged with inciting and abetting Afamasaga in his crimes.

Those men, plus three other defendants in their 20s, Edgar Laloni, Samuel Sanjay Lachnaiya and Sosaia Laloni, were also charged with tampering with evidence, selling cannabis and being part of an organised criminal group.

Turner, 29, died after being shot in the chest before midnight on December 18.

A second man, named in court documents as Jason Mataio, was shot in the leg when he tried to drag Turner into a car during the incident on Afton Pl, Ranui.

Several members of Turner's family had to be forcibly removed from court after they shouted at Afamasaga that he was a "f***ing murderer", a "faggot", and that he should be sentenced to life.

Judge Heemi Taumanu said he understood emotions were running high but he had to ask the family to go outside. Some later burst back into court and shouted at Turner's co-defendants. They too were forcibly removed.

An appication to photograph the accused was declined by the judge, however he refused to grant name suppression for any of the men.

Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said police executed several search warrants across West Auckland yesterday morning which resulted in the arrests and the seizure of large amounts of cannabis.

Scott said more than 80 police had worked on the investigation during which a firearm believed to be the weapon used in the killing was located.

"The support of the public in Waitakere and the hard work on the investigation team over the holiday period has ensured a positive result for the community of Ranui and the family of Daniel Turner," he said.

The men were remanded in custody, but a bail hearing for the three men with the less-serious charges will be held today. All six will re-appear in court on 29 January.

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