Glassie killer put hit on brother

01:43, Jan 31 2009

The two brothers responsible for killing Nia Glassie were out to get each other following their arrests, with one ordering a hit while they were in prison awaiting trial.

Michael and Wiremu Curtis were last week found guilty of murdering three-year-old Nia by kicking her in the head after she was subjected to a life-time of horrific abuse.

Nia's mother, Lisa Kuka, 35, was found guilty on two manslaughter charges .

The brothers were arrested at the beginning of August last year.

Wiremu, 19, wrote to his mother Tania Te Para-Heta from Waikeria Prison to tell her Michael, 22, thought he was the "nark", the Herald on Sunday reported.

That same day Michael, a Black Power associate, called asking whereabouts in the prison his brother was being kept.

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Te Para-Heta contacted police asking them to protect Wiremu.

During the trial Wiremu made a throat-cutting gesture to his brother sparking a scuffle in the courtroom.

After the trial the boys' father William Curtis, who has also been charged with abusing Nia, told the Sunday News he was "proud of my boys" and would stand up for them "until I die".

He said the guilty verdicts were surprising and he was concerned about how the boys would fare in prison.

"They are going to do it hard, do it real hard, and I feel sorry for them.

"What has happened has happened, but I can still say to you that I am proud of my boys. I am not embarrassed to be their dad. I will stand up for them until I die.

"That is Maori culture and that's the way it is."

William Curtis, 48, said Michael was not violent, but was a "good kid" who had been affected after being hit by a car when he was six.

"After that he had trouble reading big words. He can write but only in his own way."

He said Michael "might have done a bit of stuff to Nia" but would not have intended to hurt her."

"It was sad that Nia passed away.

"We all wish the clock could go back, but it can't."

William Curtis will appear in court next month.

NZPA