Eli Epiha: ‘My intention was to simply get away’

Eli Epiha on trial at the Auckland High Court.

2021-07-21 10:54:36

The person who murdered police officer Matthew Hunt has defended himself within the Excessive Courtroom, claiming he might have killed a second officer if he wished to.

Eli Epiha on trial at the Auckland High Court.

Eli Epiha on trial on the Auckland Excessive Courtroom.
Photograph: RNZ / Nick Monro

A jury has heard proof from Eli Epiha, who admits murdering Hunt and reckless driving after fleeing a routine site visitors cease final June – however denies the tried homicide of officer David Goldfinch.

Epiha stated he was on a mission to scare gang members away from the home of his “distressed” brother-in-law on 19 June, and had two weapons together with a Narinko semi-automatic in his Toyota Verossa.

He stated he noticed a police automotive following him on Reynella Drive in Massey and put his foot down as a result of he did not wish to cease.

A garbage truck pulled out and Epiha stated he braked closely to keep away from a head on collision.

“That is when the automotive began going right into a 180 diploma slide. It ended up smashing into the again of a parked automotive. It ended up sideways… dealing with the route I had simply come from,” he stated.

“I attempted to hole it… the automotive was taking ages. It wasn’t transferring very far. It was damaged… so I parked it within the nearest driveway.”

He stated his first intuition was to “get out and run, hole it” but it surely was too late.

As Epiha obtained out of the automotive, he stated a police officer “got here in sizzling” on foot.

“He stated one thing to me. Like ‘I am police, cease, present me your palms’…I reached again into the automotive and grabbed the gun.”

“I stated get in your automotive and f*** off. I informed him to f*** off fairly just a few occasions.”

Epiha stated the officer did not go away, so he turned the gun away and fired a shot into the timber.

“If I wished to kill him I’d have killed him right away as an alternative of firing a warning shot,” he stated.

“My intention was to simply get away. To hole it.”

Epiha admits firing extra photographs as officer David Goldfinch ran and hid behind a four-wheel-drive, dropped to the bottom to cover, after which ran to a home for shelter however stated none of these bullets had been meant to hit or kill him both.

“It was type of in direction of him. However not geared toward him. It was type of behind him, and down, to maintain him working,” he stated.

He stated he “cannot clarify” why he shot so many occasions.

Epiha admits taking pictures at one other police officer, and killing him, earlier than asking for assist from bystanders on the road.

Nonetheless he refused to reply questions concerning the homicide of Hunt below cross-examination right this moment, claiming that wasn’t the intention of the trial.

Epiha denies he threatened the girl that ultimately drove him away.

That contrasts with the ‘threats’ referenced by Natalie Bracken – the accused getaway driver who denies being an adjunct after the actual fact of homicide.

In an interview recorded the day after the taking pictures and performed to the jury right this moment, a tearful Bracken sits reverse Detective Sergeant Ashley Matthews.

Natalie Bracken on trial in the Auckland High Court.

Natalie Bracken.
Photograph: RNZ / Nick Monro

She tells him she was having espresso and a cigarette at a Reynella Highway home when she heard a automotive crash and ran outdoors, throughout the highway, to a person who’d been injured.

She recollects seeing a “massive dude” with lengthy plait, a camo t-shirt and a well-recognized face, firing a gun at two officers who had been attempting to get away.

Bracken informed the interviewing officer he was taking pictures, at occasions, from lower than two metres away.

“There have been simply heaps of huge bangs,” she stated.

She appeared away briefly, then noticed one of many officers on the bottom, mendacity on his again.

“After which the shooter has come again as much as him?” requested Matthews.

“Yup. And shot him once more”

Earlier within the trial, the jury noticed footage recorded by a close-by resident, which appeared to point out Bracken leaving Reynella Drive in a silver Mazda, with the gunman within the passenger seat.

Within the interview, Bracken tells the officer it is her ex-boyfriends automotive, and he or she drove the gunman as a result of he threatened her.

As she ran throughout the highway to retrieve her cellphone, she stated he informed her to get him out of there.

Bracken informed the officer she was scared and did not need him to maintain taking pictures, so she retrieved the keys and obtained behind the wheel.

“He was like get me the f*** out of right here. Take me on this automotive now,” she stated.

“I used to be so scared. I assumed he was going to shoot.”

She informed the officer she didn’t know what to do, and didn’t need him to maintain taking pictures at anybody, so she retrieved the keys from the automotive’s footwell.

“He was like ‘hurry the f*** up’, I jumped within the automotive and drove him away,” she stated.

“I did not realise the extent of what I used to be doing. I assumed I used to be doing the appropriate factor.”

Bracken stated Epiha confirmed her instructions on his cellphone, and so they drove for about 10 or quarter-hour earlier than she dropped him off.

As she drove she remembered him saying “‘drive, drive, I simply killed a cop'” after which calling his spouse and mates to inform them he beloved them, he was sorry, and that he was going to jail.

“‘Inform my uncle I really like them.. telling all these those that he beloved them and he f***ed up. That he is going away for 14, 20 years. For a very long time,” she stated.

Bracken was discovered by police at a Te Atatū tackle and arrested.

In court docket right this moment, she hid her face because the video was performed.

The trial earlier than a jury and Justice Venning continues.

#Eli #Epiha #intention

Supply by [earlynews24.com]