Two stabbed during Mansion eviction, court hears

IN COURT: Cheng Qi "Chris" Wang in the dock at the high court, last year.
IN COURT: Cheng Qi "Chris" Wang in the dock at the high court, last year.

Two men were stabbed to death with a hunting knife after they tried to evict a man from an Auckland mansion at the centre of a bitter marital dispute, a High Court jury has been told.

Cheng Qi "Chris" Wang, 52, is charged with the murder of Zhuo "Michael" Wu, 44, and Yishan "Tom" Zhong, 53, at Wang's $2 million Mt Albert home on January 14, 2011.

Zhong was found lying dead in the driveway of the house with 23 stab wounds.

Wu, with three stab wounds, was found inside the house, collapsed at the base of the stairs.

He died a short time later.

Wang met police at the front door in blood-soaked pyjamas.

In his opening address today Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb said the deaths were the "final, tragic" act in a long-running dispute between Wang and his former wife, Michelle Chen, over residential properties they owned together.

In 2010, two years after they had separated, Chen moved back to China.

To help her gain some control over the residential properties she enlisted the help of Wu, private investigator Phil Jones and property lawyer David Snedden.

She said she was not receiving income from the properties and she wanted Wang out of one of the houses she believed he was living in.

Wu and Zhong had known Wang for some time. Both had gone into business with him, disputes had arisen and the relationships had soured.

Earlier attempts to engage Wang had been unsuccessful and "heated".

Wu and Zhong were advised not to attempt to evict Wang and Jones refused to join them.

He said if the two men had to go to the house, they should take police with them.

On the morning of January 14, Wu went to the Avondale police station to ask for help enforcing trespass notices.

Glubb said the person at the watch-house told Wu she couldn't allocate staff to the task but Wu should call 111 on the way to the house if he needed help.

At the Mt Albert house Wu and Zhong made their way up the stairs where they encountered a young woman.

She told Wang he had visitors and, at his instructions, went to wait on the balcony.

The Crown allege that on seeing the two men Wang pulled a hunting knife from his bedside table and used violence that was "totally unnecessary, despite their approach, despite their struggle".

Glubb said Wang was relatively unscathed, showing that "most of the aggression came from him".

"He immediately grabbed that knife and it was all on." Glubb said Wang told police the men had come to the house to kill him.

Wang's lawyer, Tom Sutcliffe, told the jury his client was defending himself against two men who were aggrieved with him over business dealings.

"Chris Wang believed he was going to die."

Sutcliffe said there were two knives used in the incident - one was Wang's but the other belonged to a tenant downstairs.

How that second knife got there would be important as it was the defence's position that one of the deceased brought that knife into Wang's room.

Wang's position was that the wounds on Zhong were made by the other deceased, Wu, during the violent struggle with the knives.

The trial is set down for four weeks before Justice Venning.