Final witness called in murder trial
Disabled Featherston man Glen Jones died from an "extremely violent and brutal attack" targeting his head, a jury has been told.
The Crown is making its final address in the High Court in Wellington at the trial of four people charged with murdering Jones, 40.
The supermarket worker was killed in a vigilante attack because a woman had accused him of rape, it says.
Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said the trial was not about whether the rape claim was true or not. However, the claim was the reason for, and context of, the group attack on Jones.
The woman who made the claim, whose name was suppressed, was not a witness at the trial which entered its fourth week today.
Jones had disabilities as a result of the treatment for a brain tumour as a toddler. He was beaten to death in his flat early on January 12 last year.
Burston said it was an extremely violent and brutal killing.
The Crown says that two men - Kristofer Lee Jones, 24, and Hayden Ranson, 28 - had wooden bats and were guilty of having murdered Jones.
His head had been targeted with lethal force that left him lying on a carpet soaked with his blood, Burston said.
Ambulance staff revived Jones but he died in Wellington Hospital within five hours of the attack.
The Crown says Matthew John McKinney, 29, and Tariana Hineteanaurangi Jones, 34, were also guilty of murder, but as parties, for having helped and encouraged the other two.
Burston said McKinney led the group and Tariana Jones was the instigator.
The four who went into the flat knew that weapons were involved, that someone could go overboard and there was a real risk that Glen Jones might die, Burston said.
The jury is down to 11. One woman was discharged after finding she knew someone connected with the case, Justice Alan MacKenzie said.
The Dominion Post