Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Stop-go murder: Crash before killing was 'very odd' says Quinton Winders

A construction hat and flowers are left by the side of the road in memory of George Taiaroa when he was shot dead in March 2013. Photo / File
A construction hat and flowers are left by the side of the road in memory of George Taiaroa when he was shot dead in March 2013. Photo / File

Quinton Winders told police he believed the minor crash he was involved in the week before George Taiaroa was killed was "very odd".

Winders is charged with the murder of stop-go worker Taiaroa on March 13, 2013. The jury deliberating his fate in the High Court at Rotorua this afternoon watched his video interview with police from April 4, 2013.

Inspector Steven Dunn quizzed Winders about a minor crash at the road works site a week before Taiaroa was shot.

George Taiaroa who was allegedly shot by Quinton Winders.
George Taiaroa who was allegedly shot by Quinton Winders.

"Somebody got out and reckoned we'd gone into the back or something ... There was no damage and we couldn't work it out and there was no damage to the trailer and they reckon it was something on the front we just thought, you know, it was odd, there was something really odd about it ... He reckoned he had a bit of a scratch or something."

Dunne pressed Winders about what he recalled of Taiaroa at the roadworks, Winders said "not much".

"I don't remember much about him really, all I remember is that he flipped (the sign) around at the last minute ... so we had to pull up."

Dunne asked him if he thought Taiaroa was "a bit lazy" by doing that and Winders replied, "oh I think so ... he just changed it and he shouldn't have done it".

"It was an odd situation."

However, Winders seemed more suspicious about the guy who he'd reversed into saying to Dunne he thought he was drunk or on drugs.

"I thought he was just pulling my leg, personally. We didn't jump and down or anything. He harped on about insurance ... And then he would laugh and we thought he was stoned, we thought he was drunk."

Winders said they didn't see Taiaroa when they pulled up to the road works as he was sitting down.

When asked if Taiaroa was Maori or Pakeha, Winders said he wasn't sure.

"I can't really remember ... I don't really remember a real Maori, maybe a half casty or something like that."

Dunne also questioned Winders about his gun collection and he revealed that two were missing.

Winders said they had either been stolen - as he claimed there had been a series of burglaries involving someone stealing keys in the area in 2009 - or he had left them on his farm somewhere.

The trial will resume on Monday.

- NZ Herald

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