Patrice Dougan is a NZME. News Service reporter based in Auckland.

Toddler murder trial: Not guilty verdicts returned

Michael Martin in the dock at the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Michael Martin in the dock at the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The man accused of killing his stepdaughter has been found not guilty in a majority verdict.

The 12 jurors told the High Court trial in Auckland have found Michael Joseph Martin, 25, not guilty of murder, not guilty of manslaughter, and not guilty of ill treatment of a child.

The Crown said Martin struck Leilani Mary-Jane Lotonu'u's stomach with a blow so severe it ruptured an internal organ and a resulting infection proved fatal.

The defence argued Martin was innocent and Leilani's mother Amy Lorigan must have been responsible.

- APNZ

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 May 2016 03:05:14 Processing Time: 379ms