Oamaru murder retrial underway

Last updated 13:49 16/07/2014
William Peter Lewis
Teenager William Peter Lewis died in Oamaru on April 1, 2010.

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Daniel Ethan Smith of Oamaru pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering teenager William Peter Lewis, in Oamaru in 2010, when he appeared at a retrial in the High Court at Timaru today.

Smith, now 20, has been charged with murdering 16-year-old Lewis, who was stabbed in the back three times during an altercation on Exe St, about 9.45pm on April 1, 2010.

Smith is appearing before Justice Rachel Dunningham, and a jury of six men and six women.

In his opening statement defence counsel Christopher Stevenson told the court Smith had acted in self-defence.

''Daniel came under attack and at that point he reacted. He felt he was cornered, so he reacted instinctively and in self-defence. He did not have murderous intent.''

In her opening statement, Crown prosecutor Anne-Marie McRae said Lewis died at the scene after being stabbed three times in the back with a 12cm hunting knife.

McRae said Smith had deliberately taken the risk of killing Lewis when he stabbed him. She said according to the pathologist, the three stab wounds were delivered with ''moderate force.''

McRae told the court the Crown would try to prove Smith's actions on the night were ''not justified and he was not acting in self defence''.

The case is expected to last seven days, with 21 witnesses to be called. 

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- The Timaru Herald

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