Two more men sought over beating
Police are hunting for two men allegedly involved in the fatal beating of Featherston man Glen Jones.
Detective Inspector Sean Hansen said warrants had been issued for the arrest of Kristofer Jones, 23 and Hayden Ranson, 27, who are believed to have fled the Wellington region, hiding somewhere in the upper North Island.
They are believed to be driving a blue Mitsubishi Mirage with the number plate OE7854.
The two men are wanted on charges of aggravated burglary in relation the the death of Mr Jones on Friday night. Mr Jones was severely beaten in his Featherston home and later died of head injuries in Wellington Hospital.
Three people have been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary in relation to Mr Jones' fatal beating.
BAT AND AXE HANDLE ALLEGEDLY USED
Three people charged in connection with the killing of Featherston man Glen Jones allegedly entered his house with a wooden bat and an axe handle.
Two women, aged 32 and 22, and a 28-year-old man were granted interim name suppression when they appeared before Judge Mary O'Dwyer in the Masterton District Court this afternoon. The trio - wearing blue boiler suits - stood silently side-by-side in the dock with their heads bowed.
The Masterton trio are charged with entering Mr Jones' home without authority and with intent to commit a crime armed with a wooden bat and an axe handle. Police have said they could face further charges.
They were remanded in custody without plea to appear in the court again later this week, when suppression and bail applications will be discussed. The trio are charged jointly with two other men who are yet to appear in court.
FURTHER ARRESTS LIKELY
Further arrests are expected over the deadly pack attack on a Wairarapa man after a volunteer patrol gave detectives a crucial early breakthrough.
Three people were arrested at a home in Masterton on Saturday afternoon. Further charges may be laid.
A police spokesperson said three people had been spoken to by police overnight but no further arrests had been made.
It was believed that no property was taken from the victim's house during the incident.
Detective Inspector Sean Hansen said a community patrol had been instrumental in the case after they spotted a white Holden Commodore in Revans St around the time of the attack and noted down the registration number, GHE787.
"Some very good work by a community patrol group has had an enormous impact on the investigation," Mr Hansen said yesterday.
"We are really, really supportive and appreciative of the contribution they make to our community."
He appealed for sightings of the car, which was in Masterton, Carterton and Featherston on Friday night before travelling to the Hutt Valley and Wellington early on Saturday.
It has since been recovered by police and belonged to one of those arrested.
Mr Hansen urged other people involved in the attack to come forward. It is understood up to seven people could have taken part in the beating.
"We know who they are and that we are seeking them. I urge them to come forward," Mr Hansen said.
The brutal attack on Mr Jones has shocked the small Wairarapa community.
Part of a well-known family, Mr Jones - commonly known as "Jonesy" - worked at the local Four Square supermarket and had spent his entire life in the town.
He has been described as a gentle, peaceful man man by those who knew him.
He was found bloodied and unconscious lying face down on the carpet by a neighbour who heard a commotion coming from his Fitzherbert St unit.
An autopsy completed yesterday revealed he died later in Wellington Hospital as a result of head injuries.
Police are still searching for at least two weapons used in the attack. Mr Hansen ruled out the use of a baseball bat, which witnesses claimed they had seen a man holding.
Mr Hansen said the attack was not random and police were investigating whether Mr Jones knew those involved.
"The people of Featherston can feel as safe in their homes as they did before the [attack]."
He would not discuss a motive for the incident, but said drugs were not a factor. There did not appear to be any gang connections to the attack.
A neighbour told The Dominion Post she heard yelling, swearing and thumping coming from Mr Jones' flat shortly after midnight. "I thought it was a lady they were bashing up because the yelling sounded like a lady."
A short time later she saw a group of up to seven people leave via Fitzherbert St. Once they had gone she went over to see if anyone was injured.
The light in Mr Jones' flat was on, the front door was ajar and a curtain had been ripped from its tracks and was lying on the ground. "I just quietly looked in and I thought ‘oh my God, that's a man on the ground'."
She phoned for help while a man who lived nearby went inside to investigate. "[When he emerged] he said ‘he's not moving and there's blood everywhere'."
Mr Jones' family declined to comment yesterday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What are you doing in preparation for the big storm this weekend?Related story: Wellington in for severe weather