Accused 'saw red' before double murder, court told

By Patrice Dougan

Cheng Qi Wang. Photo / APN
Cheng Qi Wang. Photo / APN

A man "saw red" before violently stabbing to death two former business associates in a bitter marital property dispute, a court has been told.

Cheng Qi 'Chris' Wang has denied murdering Zhuo 'Michael' Wu, 44, and Yishan 'Tom' Zhong, 53, at his home in Mt Albert, Auckland, two-and-a-half years ago.

On the opening day of his trial in the High Court at Auckland today, Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb said Wang showed "wanton, senseless and unnecessary violence" when the two men visited his home in January, 2011.

Mr Wu and Mr Zhong had been attempting to enforce trespass notices on Wang in order to evict him from the property owned by his estranged wife.

Mr Glubb said Wang "saw red" when he found the men entering the home and grabbed a hunting knife.

"In the course of that struggle he deliberately and, in an excessive case of force, he stabbed them both," said Mr Glubb.

"In so doing the force he used, in particular the deliberate and repeated use of that hunting knife, was not even remotely reasonable."

He said Mr Wu "simply did not have a chance" and Mr Zhong was "dead within minutes".

The defence argued that Wang acted in self-defence after the two men arrived at his home armed with a kitchen knife. Fearing the men had come to kill him, he armed himself with a hunting knife and a struggle ensued.

It was during this struggle that Wang unwittingly stabbed Mr Wu as they fought for possession of the knives. In the confusion, Mr Wu accidently inflicted the fatal wounds on Mr Zhong.

"His [Mr Wu's] use of that knife triggered a desperate struggle that left two men dead and one man exhausted, confused, but incredibly, fortunately, alive," said defence counsel, Thomas Sutcliffe.

In police interviews, Wang said Mr Wu "tried repeatedly to stab him but missed as he was dodging", and that Mr Zhong was shouting for Mr Wu to "f***ing kill him" while grabbing at his throat.

Mr Wu sustained 23 stab wounds in the fight, including several to his torso and back, hands, face and legs. Mr Zhong received three stab wounds, including one between the shoulder blades which cut through his ribs and punctured his left lung.

Both men bled to death, with Mr Zhong making it out of the house and part way down the long driveway before collapsing to the ground. He also had bite marks to his left arm.

"The accused appears to have emerged from this struggle almost unscathed," said Mr Glubb. "This contrast is striking, I suggest, and it appears to show that most of the aggression was in fact coming from the accused at the time."

Mr Sutcliffe said Wang has used "every ounce of physical and mental will to survive".

Throughout today's hearing, Wang sat intently watching and listening. Dressed in a navy blue Chinese-style striped suit jacket, he entered not guilty pleas in both cases, through a Mandarin interpreter.

The court was told Wang was embroiled in an increasingly bitter dispute with his estranged wife over a number of properties they jointly owned.

His wife had returned to China, while Wang continued to live in the house in Mt Albert. He had been issued with trespass notices for four properties in December 2010 but refused to leave.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 26 Jul 2014 14:22:24 Processing Time: 536ms