Jury retires to deliberate verdict in murder trial

By Sandra Conchie

The jury in trial for two men charged with the death of Tauranga businessman Gary Kimura has retired to deliberate the verdict.

Witeri Ahomiro Neketai, 35, of Te Puke, was charged with murder and Taonui Hiku, 27, of Tauranga, was charged with manslaughter in relation to Mr Kimura's death in his Bellevue home on October 5, 2011. The two men have been on trial in the Hamilton High Court since June 24.

The jury retired at 11.45am to deliberate the verdict.

Joseph Rewiri, 45, of Auckland who was in prison at the time of the attack, was also facing a murder charge, after evidence showed he enlisted Neketai to collect a debt owed by Mr Kimura. Rewiri pleaded guilty to manslaughter after Justice Tim Brewer reduced the charge.

Justice Brewer earlier discharged Jesse Hartley, 28, of Mount Maunganui in relation to a manslaughter charge. The reasons for doing so have been suppressed.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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