Murder trial: 'They attacked him with hands, feet and weapons'

The crime scene in Featherston, and Glen Jones (inset). Photos / Rebecca Quilliam
The crime scene in Featherston, and Glen Jones (inset). Photos / Rebecca Quilliam

Four people charged over the fatal bashing of a Wairarapa supermarket worker knew what they were doing and are all guilty of murder, a jury has been told.

Crown lawyer Grant Burston has begun summing up the prosecution case in the murder trial of Glen Jones, 40, at the High Court in Wellington today.

Kristofer Jones, 23, Tariana Jones, 33, Matthew McKinney, 29 and Hayden Ranson, 28 all deny murdering Mr Jones on January 11, 2013 at his Featherston flat.

Mr Jones, who had worked at a supermarket for 15 years, died from head injuries inflicted in the attack.

Kristofer Jones and Tariana Jones have also pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and axe handle. McKinney and Ranson have pleaded guilty to the charge.

A fifth person, Toni Miller, 23, is standing trial for a charge of aggravated burglary with a wooden bat and an axe handle.

Only one witness was called by the defence this morning, following the end of the crown case.

The woman, whose name has been suppressed, gave evidence showing how one of the murder-accused, Kristofer Jones, texted her on the night of Mr Jones' attack that he did not want to go to Featherston.

Earlier that night, Kristofer Jones and the woman had been at a memorial celebration for the anniversary of their friend's death.

So far in his summary, Mr Burston has pointed to evidence showing the defendants had been rarked up after an evening of boozing and talking about a rape complaint made against Mr Jones the month before he was killed.

"This was a vigilante attack."

"Glen Jones was killed when four people invaded his home.

"They attacked him with their hands, feet and two weapons - a wooden bat around Jones' back and the wooden axe handle of Mr McKinney," he said.

"The defendants went to Glen Jones' home to get revenge for what they had heard he had done to a woman who was dear to them."

He reminded the jury of six women and five men the case, which is before Justice Alan MacKenzie, was not about the rape complaint against Mr Jones.

The name of the complainant has been suppressed.

"It is relevant to the reasons for and context of the group attack on the man that she was saying had raped her. This case shows what can happen when a drunk, amped up, feisty group of individuals take it upon themselves to do what they saw as vigilante justice."

Mr Burston is due to continue the prosecution summary this afternoon.

Before he began, the team of defence lawyers representing the five defendants opted not to give an opening statement. None of their clients gave evidence.

This morning, Justice Mackenzie told the court one juror had been excluded from the trial last week after it was found she had connections with the case. There are now six women and five men on the jury.

- APNZ

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