Amy Maas is Chief Reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Teen killer serving 31-month sentence out after nine

Police outside the Manurewa house. Photo / Richard Robinson
Police outside the Manurewa house. Photo / Richard Robinson

A teenager who accidentally shot and killed his best friend will be freed after nine months in prison following an emotional plea for early release.

Zhivargo Williams told the Parole Board the death of Shaun Townsley, 18, was a "tragic accident" and he was still affected by the "stupid and arrogant act".

Williams had been drinking and smoking cannabis with friends before he shot Townsley through the heart with an air rifle in January last year. Townsley was rushed to Middlemore Hospital where he died the following day.

On the day Townsley was shot Williams had pointed the air gun at the driver of another car after the car he was in nearly crashed.

A verbal row escalated and Williams pulled the pistol from the glove box and pointed it at the other car, making the driver and his 7-year-old son "frightened for their lives".

At a hearing this month the Parole Board heard Williams had been respectful, polite and compliant during his time in prison, although he was the subject of a misconduct complaint for covering his window with a blanket because the light was preventing him from sleeping. He had apologised and no further action was taken.

At the hearing he had spoken of his friendship with Townsley and how he was haunted by the death.

Williams will be released tomorrow after serving nine months of a 31-month sentence.

Among the parole conditions were Williams was not to contact the Townsley family.

He will also be under a 8pm to 6am curfew, and be banned from possessing or consuming alcohol or illicit drugs.

- Herald on Sunday

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