Guilty verdict in Auckland murder trial

ROBERT KIDD
Last updated 17:23 31/03/2014

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Two Auckland teens have been found guilty of murdering a man who they left to die at the side of a road.

John Adams, 17, and Joel Lo, 19, were accused of inflicting a sustained attack on Tamati Tupe, 23, as he lay defenceless on the ground on September 30, 2012.

A jury in the High Court in Auckland found them guilty this afternoon.

Tupe had been socialising with friends and family in Mt Wellington when he decided to retrieve his car from Otara.

As he set off walking he met Adams, who was then 15 and had been drinking for the previous 12 hours. The teen put Tupe in a headlock and began punching him in the face.

Throughout the sustained attack he repeated: "Who's your master? Who's my bitch? You're my bitch. I'm your master."

Crown prosecutor Michael Walker said that after dragging Tupe down the street, Adams came to the house where his co-offender was staying.

Lo joined him, wandering up Hillside Rd with the victim.

Local resident Hohepa Adams, who is not related to the accused, followed to see what was going on and found the pair punching and kicking Tupe.

Hohepa Adams told the court he yelled at Lo and John Adams to stop and when they did, he picked up the victim and told him to run off.

However, as Tupe staggered away, John Adams came running down the hill into Tupe and barged him over.

The vicious attack continued before Hohepa Adams returned home to rouse his girlfriend and her mother.
All three of them jumped into a car and drove to where the assault took place.

Hohepa Adams told police he found Tupe on a grass verge in Hillside Rd behind a wheelie bin with a cardboard box on his head.

He checked the man's pulse and when he could not find one, he tried to resuscitate him.

When that was unsuccessful, emergency services were called and arrived 10 minutes later, shortly after which they pronounced Tupe dead.

An autopsy found he died because of severe blood haemorrhaging on the brain and blood blocking his airways. 

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