Callous killing of shop owner

By Eddie Gay

A number of criminal trials captured public attention in 2010. Court reporter Edward Gay revisits some of the high-profile cases

A security camera shows Anitelea Chan Kee pointing a rifle at Navtej Singh. Photo / Supplied
A security camera shows Anitelea Chan Kee pointing a rifle at Navtej Singh. Photo / Supplied

CASE 3: NAVTEJ SINGH

Navtej Singh was busy working in his South Auckland liquor shop. A few streets away his killer was running out of booze during a drinking and marijuana smoking session with friends in a garage.

Anitelea Chan Kee said he wanted the party to continue and hatched a plan to "do a liquor shop" with brothers Myron and Tino Felise, Jason Naseri, and cousins Eti Filoa and Walter McCarthy. He asked for volunteers to join him.

Armed with a rifle, Chan Kee and the five others piled into two cars.

Navtej and his business partner Gurwinder Singh were watching the clock and looking forward to getting home to their families on the night of June 7, 2008.

Meanwhile, Chan Kee, Felise and Naseri piled out of the cars and burst into the liquor shop.

Gurwinder was sitting on the counter, his legs dangling over the side while he talked to Navtej who sat behind the counter on some boxes.

He heard a noise and turned to see the three intruders clad in black.

"One had a gun and the other had empty hands," Gurwinder told the court with the help of an interpreter.

What followed was an outburst of noise and urgent voices barking orders. He did not understand everything but one thing stuck in his mind: "Give us the money otherwise we'll shoot."

Chan Kee held the gun at chest height while Felise and Naseri took alcohol from the shelves. Gurwinder begged the men to leave them alone. "Please stop, our hands [are up]. We are giving you. We are giving you. Please stop, please stop," he told them.

Stunned, Navtej slowly rose from where he was sitting on the boxes behind the counter and turned towards the till.

Gurwinder said he thought Chan Kee was going to shoot then. "I thought they were going to pull the trigger or something. They had their finger on the trigger so I turned around and went out the back."

Navtej stood frozen with his arms up. Prosecutor Kirsten Gray said Chan Kee lined Navtej up in a "calm and deliberate way" and pulled the trigger. Chan Kee unsuccessfully claimed he fired accidentally under stress.

Mortally wounded, Navtej sank to the ground but still managed to pass the till holding $4000 cash to Chan Kee.

Mr Gurwinder returned to find Navtej behind the counter and the intruders gone.

At first he could not see where Navtej had been shot. Leaning across him, he took off his shirt and saw a "red spot" on the right side of his chest.

Blood pouring from his wound, Navtej asked his friend to phone an ambulance and his wife.

The six men returned to the garage where their plan had been hatched only a short time before.

As a police helicopter hovered above and sirens blared, they began drinking what they had stolen from Navtej Singh. The party could go on.

Chan Kee was found guilty in the High Court at Auckland of murder after a jury deliberated for almost 20 hours. He was jailed for life, with a non-parole period of 17 years.

Five others - Myron Robert Felise, Jason Naseri, Tino Faamele Felise, Eti Filoa and Walter McCarthy - were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter. Tino Felise, McCarthy and Filoa were found guilty of aggravated robbery.

The others had earlier pleaded guilty to that charge.

They were sentenced to between six years and four months and two years and six months for their roles in the robbery.

- NZ Herald

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