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19 Mar 2018 12:06
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Woman shot dead in front of brother: Crown

    An enraged man used a shotgun to blast his girlfriend, killing her in front of her brother, Crown prosecutors have told an Auckland court.

    After yet another quarrel, Turiarangi Tai grabbed a shotgun and blasted his girlfriend at point blank range - her nearby brother powerless to stop him - a Crown prosecutor has told an Auckland court.

    Tai now stands trial in the High Court at Auckland after pleading not guilty to murdering 22-year-old mother-of-two Chozyn Koroheke, in April last year.

    A 25-year-old woman, whose name cannot be published, is also standing trial alongside him, charged with being an accessory to murder for allegedly ordering Tai, 23, a taxi to evade capture by police.

    At the time of the shooting, Tai was sharing a three-bedroom home with Ms Koroheke and her brother and his girlfriend, prosecutor Mark Williams told the jury on Monday.

    Tai and Ms Koroheke had been in a relationship only a short time.

    "But it was one characterised by violence at (Tai's) hands," Mr Williams said.

    In the days before the shooting on April 4, 2017, Tai beat Ms Koroheke about the head with a rock, he said.

    A month before that, he stabbed her in the thigh, he said.

    On the day of Ms Koroheke's death, the couple had been fighting again, with Ms Koroheke complaining to her brother that Tai had refused to talk to her all day.

    Tai decided to pack his belongings into his car. When he had finished, he called Ms Koroheke and asked her for a cigarette and petrol money.

    "You haven't talked to me all day, why would I help you," she replied, according to Mr Williams.

    The exchange appeared to enrage Tai, who shortly after burst into a small bedroom where Ms Koroheke and her brother and his girlfriend were.

    Saying, "you f*** bitch", he bashed his girlfriend on the head with the shotgun barrel before lowering it and shooting her in the stomach, Mr Williams said.

    Despite paramedics arriving at the scene just minutes later, Ms Koroheke died.

    Investigators later removed 57 shotgun pellets from her body.

    Tai fled the scene and was seen on a petrol station's security camera "shamelessly" using Ms Koroheke's bank card to buy fuel, cigarettes and a drink, Mr Williams said.

    He managed to evade police capture for two weeks before finally handing himself in.

    Tai's defence lawyer Peter Kaye said there was no argument his client had been holding the shotgun when it killed Ms Koroheke, but he had not intended to kill her.

    His trial is set down for just over three weeks.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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