Epiha had intent to kill second officer – Crown

Eli Epiha on trial at the Auckland High Court.

2021-07-22 10:30:29

The crown within the trial of Eli Epiha claims he was intent on killing law enforcement officials final June – selecting probably the most environment friendly of two weapons and sauntering away when an officer was wounded.

Eli Epiha on trial at the Auckland High Court.

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

In the meantime Epiha and his lawyer have described how a mission to guard his household went improper, and say Epiha solely needed to flee the police.

Within the Excessive Court docket in Auckland Epiha denies the tried homicide of officer David Goldfinch, though he admits murdering officer Matthew Hunt and harmful driving inflicting harm to a bystander.

He shot on the officers after fleeing a routine site visitors cease in Massey and crashing.

Simply earlier than the sound of gunfire on CCTV footage from Reynella Drive on June nineteenth final 12 months is the sound of a voice, which Eli Epiha denies is him.

Immediately crown prosecutor Brian Dickey informed the jury it was a transparent “woohoo” noise – the sound of Epiha “totally engaged” and intent on killing law enforcement officials.

He stated Epiha picked up the extra deadly of the 2 loaded weapons in his automobile as officer David Goldfinch approached, “arduous as that’s to grasp, for no matter cause finest identified solely to Epiha.”

“He was all the time going to start out taking pictures law enforcement officials for no matter cause…he was all the time going to open fireplace. We will say that with one hundred pc confidence as a result of he did open fireplace,” he stated.

Dickey stated Goldfinch escaped “miraculously”, regardless of the 4 photographs that hit him, then Hunt courageously obtained out of the automobile and was met sq. on by Epiha, who by that point had his “sights in.”

Nonetheless within the witness field at this time Eli Epiha denied he was taking pictures to kill.

The Crown says Epiha fired 10 photographs at Goldfinch because the officer ran and hid behind a automobile, however Epiha stated 5 of the photographs “weren’t actually in his course” and he wasn’t taking pictures to kill.

He informed crown prosecutor Dickey he solely needed to scare Goldfinch away.

“I simply did not assume that I obtained him. It is not a PlayStation sport. You simply do not know if somebody will get hit,” he stated.

Epiha wasn’t in a position to clarify why he then shot Matthew Hunt – and initially declined to speak concerning the homicide.

However urged by Justice Venning to reply the questions, Epiha defined he wasn’t anticipating a second police officer and obtained an enormous fright.

“I did not assume,” he stated.

Epiha stated he thought of Hunt’s pleas for help because the injured officer lay on the street.

“He requested me for assist. I thought of it. I used to be fascinated about it for a number of seconds. Once I was him that is after I began to listen to sirens,” he stated.

“I used to be fascinated about chucking him within the police automobile and driving him right down to Waitakere Hospital. However I did not as a result of I used to be listening to these sirens. I simply thought of [the fact] the armed offenders squad was on the best way,” he stated.

Within the crown closing Brian Dickey informed the jury somebody who wasn’t aspiring to kill a police officer would have proven empathy and stopped to assist.

“However he calmly wanders off, saunters off, to rearrange his journey to get out of there. No consideration spent on Constable Hunt. None. He tried to say he thought of placing him within the automobile to take him to hospital – that is simply inconceivable, self-serving.”

Epiha’s lawyer Mark Edgar informed the jury Epiha definitely did not get off the bed intending to harm law enforcement officials.

He stated Epiha was on his strategy to brandish the firearms at gang members, to guard his household.

Edgar stated it will be simple to empathise with Goldfinch who “might need believed” he was operating for his life – and that his life was below risk – when he stated there is no such thing as a proof Epiha chased Goldfinch throughout the street.

“There have been no a number of photographs across the police automobile as Constable Goldfinch believed. There was no intention to homicide Mr Goldfinch because the crown would have you ever settle for,” he stated.

He stated “as horrible as it’s”, Epiha’s try’s to scare off Goldfinch utilizing the gunshots, labored, as a result of Goldfinch did run – giving Epiha time to flee.

“Mr Epiha had one clear intention. And that was to get away from the police,” he stated.

When bullets hit Goldfinch within the leg, Edgar stated it was a “evident omission” that Goldfinch bear in mind hobbling or stumbling.

Due to this fact, he stated Epiha had no manner of understanding that he’d shot the officer.

One of the best proof comes straight from the gunman, Edgar stated, who did not change or embellish what had occurred.

He informed the jury the one clear verdict is considered one of not responsible.

Additionally on trial is the accused getaway driver Natalie Bracken, initially charged with accent after the actual fact of homicide.

Immediately her cost was modified to accent after the actual fact of wounding with intent to trigger grievous bodily hurt, as a result of Matthew Hunt hadn’t been pronounced lifeless by the point she allegedly drove away.

Yesterday the jury heard Bracken’s police interview, during which she claims to have been threatened by the gunman.

However Dickey stated there was conflicting proof about when and the way Ms Bracken obtained the automobile keys.

He stated it is also unclear why she did not communicate to the police in a while.

“If she needed to maintain the general public protected, if she needed to maintain the uniformed officers of New Zealand Police protected, that is what she may and would have accomplished. However she didn’t. That speaks volumes, the crown says, as to what her motivations have been of getting Mr Epiha out of the scene,” he stated.

Bracken’s lawyer, Adam Couchman, stated his shopper believed she was doing the fitting factor, when Epiha requested her for a journey within the automobile.

He stated there was no components for a way an individual ought to act in a “left subject” state of affairs that unfolded on Reynella Drive.

“She did what every other particular person may conceievably do. And that’s, she complied, together with his request. And he or she obtained him out of there,” he stated.

“She knew what would occur if she did not get him out of there. There could be a massacre… how else may it play out?”

He stated Bracken had no funding in Epiha or his actions – she was merely focussed on getting him out of there to resolve the instant disaster.

The trial continues.

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