Man pleads guilty to assisting shooter

By Staff Reporter

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A man has pleaded guilty to his part in an incident where police were shot at in Whanganui last year.

Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe said Carlos Bushell admitted assisting the alleged shooter to avoid arrest in what became a day-long manhunt in the Ohakune and Raetihi areas.

The charge arose from offending on August 19, after Dolphy Kohu allegedly drove into a police car and shot at two officers.

Bushell, and another defendant Hereina Paul, are said to have helped Kohu evade arrest, and Paul is also said to have shot at police. The alleged offending sparked a lengthy manhunt across the region.

Kohu died suddenly in Whanganui Prison in January. His death has been referred to the coroner.

Mr Rowe withdrew charges against him at a hearing in the High Court at Whanganui yesterday. He told the Chronicle it was not the same as Kohu being acquitted, and that it was standard practice when a defendant died.

Bushell, who appeared yesterday, earlier faced a charge of accessory after the fact to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, but the charge was withdrawn.

Paul faces two counts of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, accessory after the fact to attempted murder, and accessory after the fact to using a firearm against a law enforcement officer.

She has pleaded not guilty to all matters and will reappear for callover on April 13. She is set down to stand trial on August 22.

While there were originally seven people arrested over the incident, only Paul and Bushell still face prosecution. Charges against four of the defendants were dropped in November.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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