Double guilty verdict in Mongrel Mob murder trial
Two gang members have been found guilty of murder after a confrontation between rival factions turned deadly.
A jury returned with their verdict this afternoon, finding both Shane Pierre Harrison, 44, and Dillin Pakai, 19, guilty of murdering Sio Matalasi and the reckless discharge of a firearm.
Matalasi, 25, died outside a block of flats in Jackson St, Petone, on August 22 last year, when a bullet from a cut-down rifle tore through his torso.
He was not a gang member but had friends in the Petone chapter of the Mongrel Mob.
The Crown alleged Harrison and Pakai, both Porirua members of rival faction the Mongrel Mob Rogues, went looking for a man from the Mongrel Mob Petone chapter.
He was not home but they took some cannabis and a cellphone belonging to the man's partner, and "disturbed" some gang paraphernalia.
When the man rang to demand the belongings back, the pair returned with Pakai carrying a loaded gun under his clothes.
The Mongrel Mob member had gathered a group of men, including Matalasi, who were waiting with weapons including a cricket bat, a machete and an ornamental samurai sword.
Harrison challenged one of the men, Dean Kahukiwa, to a fight but the Crown alleged Harrison was humiliated when he was bested and ordered Pakai to start firing.
A melee ensued and the pair were surrounded inside their car and Pakai shot Matalasi, who died at the scene.
Harrison was seriously injured with a machete during the fight.
Defence counsel had argued Harrison was lured into an ambush, described as a "brutal, medieval attack" and had not ordered Pakai to start shooting.
Pakai's lawyer said his client had feared for his life and had the right to defend himself.
The pair will be sentenced October 31.
The Dominion Post