Assault accused duo's murder charge

AMY MAAS
Last updated 11:37 21/02/2013

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Two men have been charged with the murder of an Auckland man after a brutal assault.

Trevor Tafutu, 35, appeared at the Auckland District Court this morning where he was remanded in custody.

His co-accused, Simona Liatoa, 34, will appear in court this afternoon.

The men were initially charged with common assault, but the charges were upgraded to murder.

It is alleged the men killed Michael Roberts, 48, also known as Michael Lance Rapata, after an incident at his home in Three Kings about 7pm on February 11.

Tafutu was arrested by police in Grey Lynn and it is alleged Liatoa, went on the run but was arrested shortly afterward.

A third co-accused, Jason Macrockyn Tafutu, 19, was also arrested on the night of the alleged murder, but only faces charges of aggravated robbery. 

All three men are charged with robbing Roberts of cannabis.

Tafutu will reappear in court next week.

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