Group accused of vigilante killing

Last updated 16:02 03/03/2014
Glen Jones
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Glen Jones

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The woman accused of having instigated a fatal attack on disabled Featherston man Glen Jones denies she intended to seriously harm him, her lawyer has told a Wellington jury.

The Crown says Glen Jones was killed in a vigilante attack after a group of people in Masterton heard he had raped a woman.

It is alleged the group was at a drinking party at the Masterton home of Tariana Hineteanaurangi Jones on January 11 last year.

The Crown says Tariana Jones was the main instigator of the attack on Glen Jones.

But her lawyer, Jock Blathwayt, told the jury that she had not expected that Jones would be seriously harmed. She did not take part in the attack and had entered Jones' flat only to get another person to leave.

In the High Court in Wellington today five people have gone on trial, four of them charged with murdering Glen Jones, 40.

He died of massive head injuries about five hours after he was attacked at his small Featherston flat just after midnight on January 12, last year, Crown Prosecutor Grant Burston said.

Burston said it was a vigilante attack because a woman known to the group had said Jones had raped her.

Hands, feet, and two wooden weapons were used against him. His skull was fractured.

His neighbours heard the attack and called emergency services.

Jones had suffered a brain tumour as a child. As a result his balance was affected and he was weak on one side. He had learning difficulties and epilepsy and was almost blind in one eye. But he lived independently and had worked at a supermarket for about 15 years.

Kristofer Lee Jones, 24, Tariana Jones, 33, Matthew John McKinney, 29, and Hayden Ranson, 28, are charged with murder and aggravated burglary by entering a building unlawfully while they had an axe handle and a wooden bat.

Ranson and McKinney pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. Not guilty pleas were entered to the other charges.

Toni Maree Miller, 23, faced only the aggravated burglary charge and pleaded not guilty.

The name and details of the woman who made the rape complaint against Jones have been suppressed.

The jury was told that the accused and three others had driven from Masterton to Featherston in cars that were parked a short distance from Jones' flat. Members of a community patrol noted the cars, where they were parked and the numberplates of the cars.

McKinney was caught on CCTV hiding the weapons alongside a building. The group then visited Taita Cemetry where Kris Jones' late partner and daughter were buried.

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The Crown is expecting to call about 55 witnesses in a trial that is due to take up to four weeks.

A jury of seven women and five men has been picked to hear the case with Justice Alan MacKenzie presiding.

- The Dominion Post

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