Court trial set for Taupo teen death

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Police staff checked the scene in Taupo last year after Wiremu Birch was killed.
Police staff checked the scene in Taupo last year after Wiremu Birch was killed.

A trial date has been set for the four men charged in connection with the death of a Taupo teenager.

Hendrix John Kahia, 30, and Lee Ranginui Tawaka, 32, appeared in the High Court at Rotorua this morning before Justice Graham Lang.

Kahia had previously pleaded not guilty to the murder of 19-year-old Wiremu Birch while Tawaka previously pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Birch.

A trial date was set for November 24 and was expected to take up to three weeks. They were both remanded back into custody to reappear for a High Court callover on March 26.

Appearances were excused today for Kansas Chiefy Angus Tareha, 23, and Raymond Porky Kahia, 27, who had also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Their trial date was fixed for November 24 and they were remanded on bail to reappear on March 26.

Mr Birch died on the way to hospital after an incident on the corner of Rifle Range Rd and Hinekura Ave in the early hours of Friday, October 11, last year.

Police arrested and charged the four accused the following day.

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