Fight over guitar led to killing Day angry, says Innes
A man was stabbed to death after an argument over a lit cigarette and a broken guitar sparked an enraged attack, a court has heard.
The trial of Nelson man Kirkland John Day opened in the Nelson High Court yesterday. Day, 24 is charged with murdering Carl Isaac Joblin, 30 at a Nile St, Nelson house on August 4 last year. Day denies the charge.
The trial is presided over by Justice Joseph Williams, with defence lawyers Tony Bamford and Luke Acland representing Day, while the Crown is represented by Jackson Webber and Sophie O'Donoghue.
The six-man, six-woman jury were told Joblin "died at the hands" of Day, in the Crown's opening address.
Webber said Day stabbed Joblin with a 15cm length blade kitchen knife, causing two serious wounds to the chest and one to the abdomen. The court heard that Day had been with a group of five at a Montreal Rd address, made up of Day, Joblin, siblings Delrose and Nathan Innes and friend Peter Harvey. Webber said Day and Joblin knew each other though not particularly well.
The group then went to Day's Nile St home, which his parents had recently sold but were still renting, allowing Day to stay.
Day had stressed to the group they could not smoke inside, and there was a good atmosphere as they drank and listened to music, including Day playing his guitar.
However, Webber said Harvey lit a cigarette just before 9pm and the "atmosphere went downhill", and was "fatally unlucky for Joblin" .
He was left "lying, dying on the floor of the sunroom", as Day went to see his ex-girlfriend at waterfront restaurant Relish, and then drove to Richmond, crashing his car on Whakatu Drive. He was assisted by members of the public and then arrested by police.
In his opening address, Bamford said Day accepted he caused the death of Joblin but argued it was a case of manslaughter, not murder.
Bamford said the jury needed to question if Day had murderous intent at the time of the stabbing.
He said Day's mind was "all over the place" and he had a long-standing problem with alcohol dependency, and an under-lying anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. He recently had a relationship breakup and had come out of rehab. His parents had been supporting him by allowing him to live in the house, where there was a no-smoking rule.
Bamford said the defence would argue that Day was not sufficiently able to form the intention to kill, which was critical to the charge of murder.
The first Crown witness was Nathan Innes, a long-time friend of Joblin, whose sister Delrose was in a relationship with Joblin.
He told the court that the night at Nile St had been "pretty relaxed".
But when Harvey lit a cigarette in the dining room, and gave it to Delrose, Day "got angry and started swearing at Delrose".
He said Harvey took responsibility and apologised to Day, but Day ended up straddling Harvey who was lying on the ground, one leg each side of him, still yelling and swearing about smoking inside.
Innes said Joblin intervened, pushing Day off Harvey, and Day then rolled on to his guitar, which was lying on the floor, and broke the neck of it. He recalled Day being "very angry" and started blaming everyone about the broken instrument and wanted to know whose fault it was. "(He was) pacing around with the guitar talking about how much it was worth - $1000, and about how much he makes, saying the guitar was worth more than what we make in a month."
He said Day was "turning red and winding himself up".
Innes said he told Day it was an accident, and Joblin "felt bad" about breaking the guitar.
"He (Joblin) was trying to calm him down, trying to be the peacekeeper, he offered to buy Kirk a new guitar."
Joblin went to get a pen and paper to write the name of the guitar make and model, so they could get him a new one, Day wrote the name of it down, but this did not calm him, he said.
Day then went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Innes was shown the knife yesterday, and tearfully recognised it.
"I started telling people to leave because Kirk had a knife, we were
all drinking and Kirk was angry."
He said Joblin picked up the piece of paper and they were about to leave. He said this made Day angrier. He said Day and Joblin were no more than a foot apart.
"Carl said 'we are all friends if you keep threatening me, we won't be friends anymore'."
He said Day started to push Joblin, Joblin went to punch Day in the stomach but missed, and then Day started stabbing Joblin. Innes said Joblin was stabbed nine times, and was trying to defend himself by pushing Day back and blocking the knife, but wasn't able to.
Innes said Day was knocked off balance, was on the floor, then got up and ran out the door.
The knife was broken in two pieces. Joblin was in the sunroom, the two siblings moved him next to the front door where they tried to stop the bleeding while they waited for emergency services.
When cross-examined by Bamford, Innes said he had never seen Day express anger like that before. He also said he was aware Day was taking sleeping pills which he thought were related to anti-anxiety.
The trial is due to continue through this week.
The Nelson Mail