Intent at centre of murder trial verdict
The jury in the Nelson murder trial of Kirkland John Day resumed its deliberations this morning.
The jury of six women and six men deliberated for about six hours in the High Court at Nelson yesterday.
Day, 24, has denied murdering Carl Joblin on August 4 at a Nile St house. During six days of evidence, the court heard from those who were drinking at the house the night of the stabbing, emergency workers who attended the scene and witnesses and police who were at the scene of Day's car crash after the stabbing.
They also heard from Day's ex-girlfriend Zelia Smart, his parents and psychologists from both the Crown and defence. The jury heard about Day's history of panic attacks and alcohol dependency.
In his summing up yesterday, Justice Joseph Williams stressed the jury had to be sure of its decision. He took the jury through the key events of the night when a group of five - Day, Joblin, Peter Harvey and Nathan and Delrose Innes - were drinking at the Nile St house Day was living in, and his parents rented. There was a no-smoking rule but after a few hours in the house, Harvey lit a cigarette, which angered Day.
Day then pushed Harvey over and was straddling him as he lay on the ground. Joblin either pushed or tackled Day off him, causing the two to fall and Day landed on his guitar, snapping its neck.
This angered Day and he could not be calmed down. There was an altercation between Day and Joblin; Day stabbed Joblin, fled the scene, went to see Smart at Relish on the waterfront and then crashed his car in Whakatu Dr, where he was arrested.
The Crown's argument was that Day was drunk and angry. If he was having a panic attack it had subsided and he had formed intentions when he had the knife.
The defence accepted Day was angry but argued anger and a panic attack were not mutually exclusive.
The defence had said Day wanted to get everyone to leave and used the knife to try to reinforce this.
Williams reminded the jury of the defence's emphasis on Day's mental state, that he was showing signs of a panic attack through the event and could not comprehend that Joblin was trying to calm him down. The jury had to be sure Day intended to kill Joblin, or had the intention to harm him while appreciating that harm could kill him - and acting regardless of the known risk.
He said they had to decide if a panic attack prevented Day from rationally reasoning on the night.
The Crown said the jury should disregard the panic attack and focus on Day's anger and plan with the knife, that he was acting rationally. The defence said the jury could not discount Day's mental state and he could not form the intention to kill because of it.